Today's first responders depend on timely communications and up-to-date situational awareness to protect and serve the public. During emergencies and times of crisis, however, when first responders most need access to reliable communications and data – they must currently compete with the public for access to the LTE cellular broadband network. Furthermore, in some rural areas, broadband LTE service is not be available.
In 2012, Congress gave FirstNet a mission to develop, build and operate a nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN) dedicated to public safety professionals. In March of 2017, after an extensive RFP process, FirstNet partnered with AT&T to build the network and drive the innovation of applications and services tailored to meet the needs of our nation’s first responders. AT&T will build the FirstNet Radio Access Network (RAN) in all states and territories at no cost to each jurisdiction, although local and state public-safety entities will be responsible for paying subscription costs and end-user device expenses. However, the law that established FirstNet stipulates that individual public-safety agencies and potential first-responder users are not required to subscribe to the FirstNet service.
On October 11, 2017, Governor Eric Holcomb announced that the State of Indiana would Opt In to FirstNet, the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. Read the press release here.
The mission of Indiana FirstNet is to provide outreach and education about the NPSBN to Hoosier first responders and to represent the best interests of Indiana public safety agencies during the development of the nationwide network. The Integrated Public Safety Commission (IPSC) is the designated coordinating agency for the project.