The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) released its new Roadmap for the future of FirstNet today, a nationwide broadband network dedicated to public safety.

According to FirstNet Authority, the Roadmap “builds on the organization’s nationwide engagement with public safety to gather feedback on the most important communications capabilities for their missions” and is based on feedback gathered from individual engagements, workshops, and summits with first responders. With that feedback in hand, the Authority developed “prioritized technology areas to ensure the Roadmap reflects [first responders’] specific communications needs.”

FirstNet Authority Board Chair Edward Horowitz explained, “As we look to the future of FirstNet, it is critical that we deliver network enhancements and innovations based on the needs of public safety and in lockstep with trends in technology. This Roadmap lays out priorities for ensuring first responders have the dedicated and differentiated network they asked for, supported by the FirstNet Authority’s management of and investment in the network.”

The Roadmap is organized around six domains, which represent technologies and capabilities that are essential to public safety operations. The domains consider both present and future needs.

  • “Network Core: provides the essential intelligence for the functioning of the network The Core is foundational to the network, and the FirstNet Authority envisions the Core evolving to remain technologically current;
  • Coverage and Capacity: enables robust and ubiquitous access to the network;
  • Situational Awareness: envisions real-time access, collection, and distribution of critical information;
  • Voice Communications: envisions high-quality, reliable voice communications nationwide working seamlessly across analog and digital platforms;
  • Secure Information Exchange: envisions the ability to access, exchange, and manage data securely and conveniently within and across public safety agencies and jurisdictions; and
  • Experience: seeks to ensure interfaces are designed for specific public safety users’ operational challenges.”

“The priorities within the Roadmap domains will help guide our actions and continued engagement with public safety,” said Horowitz. “Now with the Roadmap setting a course for the network, we are moving forward on making decisions to invest in network improvements as we fully realize the promise of FirstNet.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs