On Tuesday, November 6th, Governor Herbert announced that Utah has now opted in to using FirstNet for its Public Safety First Responders, making it the 31st state and territory to opt into this network.
Governor Herbert stated that, “Utah is pleased to join other states in working with FirstNet to deploy the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network. First responders need to have the most advanced and reliable communication technology will give Utah and the nation the necessary tools to maximize public safety.”
FirstNet and it’s partnering provider AT&T will operate and further maintain a public safety telecommunication network at no cost to Utah. FirstNet will invoke innovation opportunities for the state and create a system devices, apps and tools that are modernized. This will completely alter the way that Utah’s police, EMS, and other public safety personnel communicate with each other during large events, crises and other safety concerns. These include:
- Handling day-to-day operations of Utah’s thriving convention and event businesses, specifically Park City’s annual Sundance Film Festival.
- Enhancing network communications during natural disasters, like the fires at Brian Head in June 2017
- Heightened network coverage throughout all of Utah, including it’s majority of rural and underserved areas that will benefit these communities
- Furthermore, drive infrastructure investments and more state-wide jobs
“Reliable communications are critical to the safety and success of first responders and the public,” President of the Utah Chiefs of Police Association,Chief Tom Ross said. “During emergencies networks get clogged because people are simultaneously trying to communicate. We are excited that FirstNet will establish a dedicated network that prioritizes first responders’ communications.”
Furthermore, Tara Thue, AT&T’s director for external affairs, expressed that, “we have worked closely with Governor Herbert, his staff and the review team convened by the Utah Communications Authority to make sure that the FirstNet network built in Utah will meet the needs of Utah’s public safety community. We’re honored to have the opportunity to serve Utah’s first responders and look forward to collaborating with state, local and public safety leadership as we implement FirstNet.”
First responders in Utah will have immediate access to FirstNet service and have priority to voice and data in the nationwide AT&T LTE network.
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