Quick, what’s the one thing you can’t do without? Your Smartphone right? Now think how frustrating it is when you don’t have coverage or it takes forever to upload your newest Facebook pictures.
Now imagine you’re a police officer pulling up to an explosive situation and you’re trying to get information on the suspects, layouts of the building and communicate with other officers but you can’t because your phone won’t work because everyone around you is uploading pictures to Facebook! This is the problem that our first responders currently face and what the FirstNet effort intends to solve.
The First Responder Network Authority or FirstNet is a national effort to design, build and operate a nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to first responders. Just as first responders have their own voice network that is hardened and dedicated to their needs, FirstNet will provide that same level of performance and reliability for their increasingly complex communication needs.
Created through a federal law in 2012, FirstNet is working with every state to understand their unique public safety needs and define the requirements for the national network. Every state has a State Point of Contact (SPOC), which for Colorado is OIT (Brian Shepherd) and is tasked with coordinating the statewide effort and both a local and state level and across all public safety disciplines. Working with the public safety stakeholders within Colorado and local governments, OIT helped establishe the FirstNet Colorado Governing Body that oversees the program and ensures the the ultimate users of the network, first responders are involved in its development.
The FirstNet Colorado team within OIT is currently traveling the state to engage and work with first responders and key stakeholders to begin this process. The team has created a comprehensive website that will provide you with the background, current efforts and information on how to engage the process. Please visit www.firstnetcolorado.org to find out everything you need to know about the program. We will continue to keep everyone up-to-date on key developments and encourage you to engage with your local first responder community to become involved in the creation this first-of-its-kind communications network!