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Governor Cuomo Announces New York State's Participation in FirstNet First Responder Network

Network Will Deliver a State-of-the Art, Wireless Broadband Network to the State's Public Safety Community

AT&T will Build, Operate and Maintain the Network at No Cost to the State

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that New York will join the FirstNet First Responder Network - a nationwide, high speed, wireless broadband network that was created exclusively for first responders and the public safety community. The network, which was created through a public-private partnership between AT&T and the federal government, will put advanced technology, and devices into the hands of first responders to give them the tools they need to better communicate and share information in emergency situations.

"During emergencies and disasters, every second counts, and ensuring our first responders have the tools they need during a crisis is vital to the safety and security of all New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said. "The entire state, from the Great Lakes to the most remote areas of the Adirondacks to New York City, must have seamless communication for our public safety community so that they can get more information quickly, make better informed decisions, and save lives."

FirstNet, an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce was born out of a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission to enhance communications used by fire, police and EMS to develop, build and operate the first nationwide, broadband network that modernizes communications used by the public safety community. Since that time, the FirstNet-AT&T partnership worked with New York public safety officials to design an implementation plan for New York.

The final, accepted plan states that AT&T will build, operate and maintain the highly secure wireless broadband communications network at no cost to the state. It was also designed to address the state's unique communications needs, including:

    • Expanding coverage in rural areas such as the Adirondacks, in urban areas such as in buildings and the subway system and along waterways such as the Great Lakes and Long Island Sound
    • Improving interoperability to support better coordination with border states and Canada
    • Making the cost of services and devices more affordable for smaller communities.

Specifically, the network will transform the way New York's fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel communicate and share information by:

    • Connecting first responders to the critical information they need in a highly secure manner when handling day-to-day operations, responding to emergencies and supporting large events like New York City's New Year's Eve celebration which attracts over 1 million spectators to Times Square, the New York City Marathon that attracts over 50,000 runners and nearly 2.5 million spectators each year, and the Great New York State Fair which welcomed over 1 million fairgoers in 2017.
    • Creating an efficient means of communication for public safety personnel in agencies and jurisdictions across the state during natural disasters and emergencies.
    • Enhancing network coverage across New York's diverse landscape, benefitting first responders and residents throughout the state's densely populated metro areas to rural areas and tribal lands.
    • Providing first responders with access to dedicated network assets that can be deployed for additional coverage and support when needed.
    • Driving infrastructure investments and create jobs across the state.
    • Ushering in a new wave of dependable innovations for first responders. This will create an ever-evolving set of life-saving tools for public safety, including public safety apps, specialized devices and Internet of Things technologies. It also carries the potential for future integration with NextGen 911 networks and Smart Cities' infrastructure.

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger L. Parrino, Sr. said, "It is important to recognize that our first responders need reliable tools to complete their mission at all times and this is especially true when communicating important information with our local, state and federal partners during a disaster or emergency. I look forward to the completion of the nationwide public safety broadband network and its ability to provide dedicated access to the first responder community when it is needed most."

First Responder Network Authority CEO Mike Poth said, "It is especially meaningful to welcome New York into FirstNet as it was a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission that led to our very creation. Governor Cuomo's decision will bring expanded and enhanced communications capabilities to the great state of New York. From giving public safety in New York City dedicated spectrum to bringing a reliable, high speed wireless connection to rural and remote areas of the state, FirstNet will improve connectivity and foster innovation for law enforcement, fire, and EMS."

"This is a special day for the brave men and women that serve New York. And I applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership and commitment to public safety," said Marissa Shorenstein, president, Northeast Region, AT&T. "Opting in to FirstNet will put New York's first responders on the cutting-edge of innovative communications, helping them operate faster, safer and more effectively when lives are on the line. We're honored to bring this life-saving solution to the state."

By opting in to FirstNet, fire, police, EMS and other public safety workers subscribing to the service will have dedicated access to the information they need, 24/7/365, when and where they need it. For more information on FirstNet, please click here. For more about the value FirstNet will bring to public safety, please go to FirstNet.gov.