FirstNet subscriber numbers top 750,000 as imminent HPUE access announced


The FirstNet Authority has announced that 750,000 first responders are now signed up to use the US public safety broadband network, with subscriber numbers spread across 9,000 agencies.

According to the organisation, it has also completed roll-out to 65 per cent of its nationwide coverage targets, equating to 650 ‘markets’ being able to access public safety-specific Band 14 spectrum. It has also claimed to provide the “fastest overall network experience,” following tests carried out by Speedtest and analysed by FirstNet provider AT&T.

Speaking of the progress being made, senior vice president of the FirstNet programme at AT&T Chris Sambar, said: "As we grow and evolve, we're proud to connect more members of the public safety community, and further empower the men and women we rely on to keep us safe. FirstNet is designed to be different because that's what public safety specifically asked for.”

In the coming months, collaborative work carried out between AT&T and Assured Wireless Corporation will also enable subscribers to use high-power user equipment (HPUE), which will be able to transmit at stronger signals. This can only be achieved, again, according to the FirstNet Authority, through the use of Band 14 spectrum.  

Speaking of this, a spokesperson said: “HPUE could significantly increase the coverage area for rural and remote responders. For urban and suburban responders meanwhile, it will help solve the common challenge of indoor coverage. The stronger signal will also better assist those connecting from hard-to-reach places like basements, elevators, stairwells and parking garages.”


Philip Mason
Editor, Critical Communications Portfolio
Tel: +44 (0)20 3874 9216