Indiana’s FirstNet opt-in hits the 50% mark of states coming on board

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced today his decision to accept the FirstNet and AT&T plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the state’s public safety community. The move puts Indiana as the 25th state to opt-in to the FirstNet system, bringing advanced tools to help Indiana’s first responders save lives and protect communities.

“Indiana’s first responders need fast, accurate information to keep Hoosiers safe,” Gov. Holcomb said. “This new communications network will help those on the front lines coordinate better and faster to serve and protect our citizens and communities.”

AT&T, in a public-private partnership with FirstNet, will build, operate and maintain a highly secure wireless broadband communications network for Indiana’s public safety community at no cost to the state. The FirstNet network will drive innovation and create an entire system of modernized devices, apps and tools for first responders.

According to a press statement, FirstNet will transform the way Indiana’s fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel communicate and share information. Specifically, it will:

  • Connect first responder subscribers 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 the Indianapolis 500 or professional football games that attract thousands of visitors each year.
  • Create an efficient communications experience for public safety personnel in agencies and jurisdictions across the state during natural disasters like the series of tornadoes in 2012 that damaged communities in five counties across the state.
  • Expand network coverage across the state, benefitting first responders and residents throughout the state’s rural areas and providing modern communications and data sharing to help increase first responders’ safety.
  • Provide first responders with access to dedicated network assets that can be deployed for additional coverage and support when needed.
  • Drive infrastructure investments and create jobs across the state.

“This network will prevent communication difficulties and inefficiencies in times of crisis and confusion,” Integrated Public Safety Commission (IPSC) Executive Director David Vice said. “Indiana has conducted an unprecedented effort to reach out to public safety officials and decision makers across the state to ensure FirstNet is right for our state.”

FirstNet and AT&T worked collaboratively with the IPSC to address Indiana’s needs and concerns.  Through this close collaboration, FirstNet and AT&T crafted a plan to meet Indiana’s unique communications needs, including:

  • Expanding rural coverage beyond what is currently available.
  • Offering services at compelling prices.

“Governor Holcomb’s decision today will enhance public safety communications across the state,” said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth. “We are pleased to deliver a plan that meets Indiana’s unique needs and look forward to continuing to work with the state to put cutting-edge, life-saving technology in the hands of first responders working to keep Indiana’scommunities safe.”

The decision enables FirstNet and AT&T to begin creating an entirely new wireless ecosystem for public safety communications. Indiana’s first responder subscribers will have immediate access to quality of service and priority access to voice and data across the existing nationwide AT&T LTE network.

Preemption for primary users over the AT&T LTE network is expected by year-end. This means first responder subscribers, including fire and rescue services, law enforcement, emergency medical services, emergency management and 9-1-1 personnel, will have dedicated access to the network when and where they need it – 24/7/365, like their mission.

“Indiana’s first responders will soon have a better, more reliable way to share crucial information during emergencies thanks to this partnership,” said AT&T Indiana President Bill Soards. “Hoosiers will also benefit from the network investment and job creation that is likely to follow – all without additional taxpayer dollars.”