COVID-19 Pandemic Accelerates FirstNet Adoption Rate, Board Chair Says
Friday, July 31, 2020 | Comments

The COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the adoption rate of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), FirstNet Board Chair Ed Horowitz said during a fireside chat as part of the Public Safety Communications Research’s (PSCR) Virtual Conference July 29.

“I would say that the pandemic has accelerated everything,” Horowitz said. He noted that after industry partner AT&T launched the FirstNet network, many municipalities and state organizations were slow and deliberate in adopting the service, evaluating it thoroughly before bringing the entire department on to the network.

Then in December, the network reached what Horowitz described as a tipping point as AT&T announced that it had passed 1 million subscribers on the network. He attributed much of that momentum to increases in the number of apps available in the FirstNet App Catalog and the larger number of devices and equipment that has now been certified for use on the FirstNet network.

The growth in FirstNet adoption grew even faster once the COVID-19 pandemic began, and organizations began looking for new ways to communicate with the public and each other virtually.

AT&T announced earlier in July that it now has 1.3 million subscribers across 13,000 agencies on the FirstNet network. AT&T has also said that the band 14 buildout is now at about 80 percent completion.

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