FirstNet is here. Now what?

With AT&T releasing it new FirstNet logo and signing up its first two customers many agencies are wondering what this means for them.

Over the next few weeks, we will be providing guidance on how to evaluate the use of FirstNet versus the services in use today by most public safety agencies.  Our experts, who have managed, consulted for and run large scale public safety agencies will provide you with the information that you need to make an informed decision and make the best use of your agency’s limited budget.



AT&T disclosed its new logo for its FirstNet service.

AT&T has now released its branding around its FirstNet services.  Looking to stress that FirstNet is a public safety only communications platform to help public safety save lives AT&T has released a dedicated brand for the platform.

 AT&T unveiled the new visual identity for FirstNet products and services. Designed with only public safety in mind, this brand is rooted in 3 essential elements:
  • Symbol – 3 horizontal lines represent the distinct but interconnected disciplines of public safety. They’re united in communications, symbolized by a notch in the lower right corner. This forms a speech bubble that signifies seamless communication and harmonious interoperation for first responders nationwide.
  • Wordmark – FIRSTNET. We’ve bolded “first” to show that this network is, first and foremost, a solution for firstresponders. The technology will never be more important than the first responders it benefits. This platform belongs to them. They fought for it, and they will continue to guide its development. Plus, they’ll always be first in line for service.
  • Attribution – “Built with AT&T.” We chose each word carefully to reflect the brand’s commitment to public safety.
    • Built: This is a new effort, new solution and new network that is purpose-built for first responders. It’s the only communications platform dedicated to public safety. And there’s nothing else like it in the market.
    • With: Collaboration with first responders will always be our foundation.
    • AT&T: This is a solution built with the expertise of the nation’s largest and most reliable network provider.* So, first responders can rely on it for their technology and communications needs.

AT&T – FirstNet  senior vice president Chris Sambar stated “We’ll begin rolling out this new brand today. Whenever first responders see it, they can be  confident that they are getting something just for them. It’s built in collaboration with them, backed by the expertise of AT&T and approved with the advocacy of the First Responder Network Authority.”

The story of FirstNet is far from over.  As the platform is built out it will be interesting to see how it unfolds and whether FirstNet can truly provide a cost effective and superior solution to other carriers offerings.  Although all states and territories have opted in to the FirstNet buildout, public safety agencies nationwide have no requirement to use the fee-based FirstNet services.

Radio Stations Hacked Recently

Radio stations in South Carolina, Indiana, Texas, Tennessee and Kentucky, were hacked recently to broadcast the Bompton-based rapper YG and Nipsey Hussle’s anti-Trump song “F*** Donald Trump,” which was already a radio hit in some parts of the country last year, several sources report.

The song was repeatedly played on Monday night, according to the RadioInsight, and the news of the incident began emerging shortly after Trump’s inauguration on January 20, eight days before hackers hacked 70 percent of the police CCTV cameras in Washington DC.

Hackers gained access to the radio stations by exploiting known vulnerabilities in Barix Exstreamer devices which can decode audio file formats and send them along for LPFM transmission.

Read more in:

Public Safety T-Band Fact Sheet 2016

This fact sheet provides answers by the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau to common questions asked by public safety licensees about the “T-Band” provisions of The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-96) (the Act) and its impact on public safety licensees. The relevant section of the Act reads as follows:


(a) In General- Not later than 9 years after the date of enactment of this title, the Commission shall–
(1) reallocate the spectrum in the 470-512 MHz band (referred to in this section as the `T-Band spectrum’) currently used by public safety eligibles as identified in section 90.303 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations; and

(2) begin a system of competitive bidding under section 309(j) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 309(j)) to grant new initial licenses for the use of the spectrum described in paragraph (1).

(b) Auction Proceeds- Proceeds (including deposits and upfront payments from successful bidders) from the competitive bidding system described in subsection (a)(2) shall be available to the Assistant Secretary to make grants in such sums as necessary to cover relocation costs for the relocation of public safety entities from the T-Band spectrum.

(c) Relocation- Relocation shall be completed not later than 2 years after the date on which the system of competitive bidding described in subsection (a)(2) is completed.”

Follow this link ( to download the complete PDF from the FCC website.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you have in assessing and planning your next steps with your T-Band based radio system.

FCC Buildout Requirements

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established buildout requirements—which require a licensee to build the necessary infrastructure and put the assigned spectrum to use within a set amount of time—for most wireless services, including cellular and personal communication services. FCC tailors the buildout requirements it sets for a wireless service based on the physical characteristics of the relevant spectrum and comments of stakeholders, among other factors. Therefore, buildout requirements vary across wireless services. For example, a buildout requirement can set the percentage of a license’s population or geographic area that must be covered by service or can describe the required level of service in narrative terms rather than numeric benchmarks. Buildout requirements also vary by how much time a licensee has to meet a requirement and whether it has to meet one requirement or multiple requirements in stages.

FCC’s enforcement process for wireless-service licenses with buildout requirements primarily relies on information provided by licensees.  The FCC requires licensees to self-certify that they have met buildout requirements. If a licensee does not do so, FCC automatically terminates the license.  As part of enforcement, the FCC also grants or dismisses licensees’ requests to extend the deadline for meeting a requirement. FCC may grant an extension if the licensee shows that it cannot meet a deadline due to causes beyond its control, like a lack of available equipment.  FCC officials said that the Commission seeks to be aggressive but pragmatic when enforcing buildout requirements, including being flexible on deadlines when needed.

Have more questions about FCC buildout requirements?  Post them below or email us.