Kansas joins broadband network for first responder agencies

Cornelia Mascio
Agosto 16, 2017

Fire, police, medical and other first responders in Kansas will gain dedicated wireless services in emergencies under the state's FirstNet deal with AT&T. First responders now subscribe to AT&T, Verizon or other wireless service providers and communicate via phones, tablets and other mobile devices on the same networks as other consumers.

"We're serious about remaining extremely relevant in this space", Michael Maiorana, a Verizon senior vice president who oversees the effort, said in an interview with Urgent Communications. It will run separate lanes of traffic to commercial line in order to prioritise public-safety services.

Scott said AT&T; will recoup its investment through monthly subscription fees that it charges public safety agencies that join in the program.

Wireless lanes reserved for first responders rose to prominence after a report looking into 9/11 confirmed that many emergency services were left without access to communication devices on the day of the terror attacks. "Thanks to their input, we are now delivering first responders a compelling network solution they've never had before", a FirstNet spokesman said in an email Tuesday. First Net is a wireless network that helps first responders communicate during a crisis, like the wildfires that swept through Central Kansas earlier this year. AT&T partnered with FirstNet and will build, operate and maintain the highly secure communications network, at no cost to the state.

An AT&T spokesman said the company is building a "superior network and ecosystem with specialized features" that would be unlike anything the market has seen before. Integrating state infrastructure into the network build as appropriate. It said the dedicated lanes, known as a private network core, will be ready in 2018.

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