Federal – FirstNet
In August 2017, Hawaii became the 16th state or territory to “opt-in” to FirstNet and bring advanced technologies that will help first responders save lives and protect communities. FirstNet, or First Responder Network Authority, is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce authorized by Congress in 2012 to develop, build and operate the nationwide, broadband network that equips first responders.
“I believe this is long overdue,” said Maj. Gen. Arthur “Joe” Logan, state adjutant general, state Homeland Security advisor and single point of contact for Hawaii’s FirstNet initiative. “The 9-11 commission required that first responders should have interoperable communications. That’s what FirstNet will provide to Hawaii.”
FirstNet and AT&T will build at no cost to Hawaii, a highly secure wireless broadband communications network for the State’s first responder and public safety community. Fees paid by subscribers to the network will go toward future upgrades and maintenance.
FirstNet and AT&T designed Hawaii’s network solution with direct input from the state’s public safety community. FirstNet has been meeting with Hawaii’s officials and public safety personnel for several years to address their unique communication needs. This includes:
- Strengthening coverage and addressing communication gaps through investments in new infrastructure.
- Giving first responders priority access to the network to help them communicate more effectively during times of congestion.
- Providing first responders with access to dedicated, on-island network assets that can be deployed for additional coverage and support when needed.