FBI expands its use of FirstNet

December 15, 2020

by AT&T

Approximate $92M agreement is largest commitment to FirstNet by a public safety agency

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is expanding its use of FirstNet, signing up for additional FirstNet capabilities to support the FBI’s day-to-day and emergency operations in an agreement valued at approximately $92 million. This is the largest commitment to FirstNet by a law enforcement or public safety agency.

FirstNet, Built with AT&T, is the only nationwide, high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built for America’s first responders and the extended public safety community. It gives first responders always-on, 24-hours-a-day priority and preemption across voice and data. The preemption capability is key. During an emergency, if network resources are scarce or unavailable, it will automatically push non-emergency users to other bands of spectrum to allow critical law enforcement resources, like the FBI, to maintain access to their voice and data. The FBI will access FirstNet using FirstNet Ready® devices such as smartphones, air cards, modems and more. 

“FirstNet was built with and for all of public safety – including our Federal first responders,” said Ed Parkinson, CEO of the FirstNet Authority. “We are pleased to see the DOJ expand its use of the network platform to connect more agencies within the law enforcement community. The FirstNet Authority looks forward to continuing to work with the Department to advance and enhance FirstNet for federal law enforcement.”

Other DOJ agencies on FirstNet

Several DOJ agencies have been using FirstNet, including the Antitrust Division; Drug Enforcement Administration; Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys; Justice Management Division; U.S. Attorneys; U.S. Marshals Service; and The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which was the was the first federal agency to fully adopt FirstNet in 2018 with approximately 4,800 users.

Under the FBI’s new agreement with AT&T, these DOJ agencies can expand their usage of FirstNet while others can choose to begin benefitting from it. 

“The FBI’s award to AT&T is testament to FirstNet’s law enforcement-specific attributes,” said Stacy Schwartz, Vice President, FirstNet Program at AT&T. “We’re enormously proud to help the FBI and other DOJ agencies expand their FirstNet usage in support of their critical work to keep us safe and protect our democracy.”

Why FirstNet?

FirstNet is built in public-private partnership with AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) – an independent agency within the federal government. The FirstNet network is providing public safety with truly dedicated coverage and capacity when they need it, unique benefits like always-on priority and preemption, and high-quality Band 14 spectrum. These advanced capabilities enable FirstNet to perform faster than any commercial network1 and help fire, EMS and law enforcement save lives and protect their communities.

As of Sept. 30, 2020, there were more than 14,000 public safety agencies and organizations across the country – representing more than 1.7 million FirstNet connections – subscribed to FirstNet. Federal, state and local public safety agencies have been using FirstNet to support their work related to the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as fires, floods and other natural disasters.

Visit FirstNet.com for more information. Or, visit the FBI website here.



1 Based on AT&T analysis of Ookla® Speedtest Intelligence® data median download speeds for Q3 2020. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.