The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board has approved the organization’s first investment opportunities to expand and enhance FirstNet, the nationwide public safety broadband network.

Meeting Washington, D.C., the Board gave the green light for the FirstNet Authority to pursue investments in the following areas: 1) Expansion of the FirstNet fleet of deployables to enhance network coverage and capacity for public safety during emergencies and events and 2) Initial generational upgrades to the FirstNet core to enable 5G network capabilities.

Both investments align with the FirstNet Authority Roadmap released in August, which reflects public safety’s critical needs for the network as well as technology trends for mobile broadband communications.

“The Board’s actions focus on public safety’s near-term and future needs by expanding on-demand coverage solutions and ensuring the network evolves with broader technological advancements,” said FirstNet Authority Board Chair Edward Horowitz. “Public safety has been instrumental in shaping our investment strategies for the network. The FirstNet Authority will continue to work with public safety as we fulfill these investments and develop future proposals for reinvesting back into their network.”

The Board passed Resolution 102, which approves the use of funds for coverage and network enhancements and directs management to take all actions necessary to implement the Board’s recommendations. The Board previously approved $78 million and $145 million, respectively, for FirstNet Authority network investments in fiscal years 2019 and 2020.

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Originally posted on POLICE Magazine