Spoke with Maryland’s Radio Interoperability Czar about the basics – basics – of FirstNet since I’ve heard a variety of details about it. It’s a federal effort to build a wireless network for first responders (hence the name – FirstNet). It will rely on existing infrastructure where available. A key goal is on dispatch and communication between emergency personnel but in areas where 911 wireless calling is lacking it can be used for 911 too. Fed’s plan to build this using the public/private partnership model. State grants are expected to be available. The D block range of the 700 MHz frequencies will be used. Revenue from the sale of other frequencies to commercial interests are expected to provide the funds for construction. There are many more details about this effort and much remains to be defined but this information helped to make things clearer for me.
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