Poth: Draft State Plans in June, Dedicated Help Desk for Users
Monday, May 01, 2017 | Comments

First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) CEO Michael Poth said draft state plans should be available in June, and public safety will have a dedicated help desk available 24/7. The updates came a month after AT&T won the contract to deploy the nationwide public-safety Long Term Evolution (LTE) network March 30.

FirstNet and AT&T have been collaborating on the state plans, development of the online portal that will be used to deliver the plans, and the core network architecture.

In advance of delivering the draft state plans, FirstNet and AT&T will meet with all state single points of contact (SPOCs) to preview key information that will be shared in the online state plans portal and overview the process for state plans. The meeting is tentatively scheduled for June 7 – 8.

FirstNet will also provide a dedicated help desk available 24/7/365, so public-safety users have an “always on” specialized customer service experience that understands their unique operating environment.

Poth also said AT&T is making an investment of about $40 billion during the 25-year life of the contract. “Having an existing network on which to build will deliver specialized features to public safety faster — meaning less time to better outcomes for the public they serve and protect,” he said.

As previously announced, once a governor opts into the FirstNet state plan, the availability of quality of service and priority access with pre-emption services is expected to be made available on all AT&T LTE bands by the end of this year. These features will become available over existing AT&T LTE bands nationwide while FirstNet deploys band 14 for public safety.

“This will dramatically increase the capacity available to public safety without having to wait for the availability of band 14,” Poth said. “It will provide first responders with unprecedented access to the network when the need arises without impact or competition from commercial customers.

“Public-safety agencies have been asking for priority and pre-emption over a broadband network for a long time, and we are excited to deliver on that promise to them. We will also utilize these economies of scale to deliver an app and device ecosystem tailored to public safety.”

AT&T also announced that it will roll out an additional 40 megahertz of commercial spectrum in conjunction with the 20 megahertz of FirstNet spectrum.

“FirstNet will be providing more details to the states on these and other solution features — such as coverage information — as we engage with them on the state plans,” Poth said.

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