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FirstNet Authority Board approves investment for network evolution


FirstNet Authority


RESTON, Va. — The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) is evolving and expanding FirstNet, the nationwide public safety broadband network, through strategic network investments.

At a special Board meeting today, the FirstNet Authority Board took action to increase coverage on the network and accelerate FirstNet’s transition to a full 5G network. This network investment follows completion of the five-year initial buildout by the FirstNet Authority’s network contractor, AT&T. FirstNet now serves 27,500 public safety agencies, with over 5.5 million connections.

“The FirstNet Authority is making a major investment in public safety and the next generation of their network,” said Chief Richard Carrizzo, FirstNet Authority Board Chair. “With the initial buildout now complete, we are focused on continuing the growth and evolution of the network, based on public safety’s evolving needs.”

The FirstNet Authority Board advanced the investment by approving Resolution 117, “Network Evolution” at today’s Board meeting. The resolution directs FirstNet Authority management to take all necessary actions to enable FirstNet’s evolution for network subscribers. Also today, the Board increased the FirstNet Authority’s investment budget for Fiscal Year 2024 to $547 million.

“This investment is the next major milestone in the FirstNet Authority’s efforts to expand and upgrade public safety’s network,” said Joe Wassel, FirstNet Authority Executive Director and CEO. “We are accelerating the evolution of FirstNet’s 5G capabilities and making sure the network continues to deliver the innovation and reliability that first responders need, now and in the future.”

The FirstNet Authority’s investments are made possible through a sustainable business model that enables the organization to continually improve and advance the network. Today’s action follows previous investments by the FirstNet Authority for initial upgrades to the network core for 5G capabilities and to increase network coverage.

The investments align with the FirstNet Authority’s Roadmap, which outlines the key priorities and activities for evolving the network for public safety. The FirstNet Authority established investment principles to further guide the decision-making process for its investments and to ensure they benefit public safety operations.

For more information on today’s Board meeting, visit

About the First Responder Network Authority

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Created in 2012, its mission is to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of the nationwide broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities. Learn more at and follow the FirstNet Authority (@FirstNetGov) on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter for updates.