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Verizon announces plans to create network to compete with FirstNet

On July 18, Verizon issued a press release announcing plans to begin developing a new network dedicated to public safety communications for first responders.

Verizon’s plan for a new first responders network comes in the wake of a March 30, 2017 announcement made by the U.S. Department of Commerce and AT&T that the two agreed to terms to build a first-of-its-kind nationwide wireless network for police, firefighters and emergency medical workers called the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).

In a statement released by Verizon, the company announced it will build and operate its own private network core dedicated to public safety communications that will operate separately from their commercial core. Additionally, Verizon’s plans will include making priority access and preemption services available to public safety officials to help ensure first responders can communicate during large scale disasters. Finally, Verizon announced an investment in new mission-critical 4G LTE voice communications to complement existing services such as Push-to-Talk Plus.

Verizon has not yet announced a launch date for their new service offerings for first responders. NACo will continue to engage with Verizon and other providers as their plans develop.

Additional NACo Resources:

NACo Policy Brief: First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Moving Forward

County News: AT&T wins public safety contract