Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks

Representing the 5th District of Indiana
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Brooks Applauds Steps Towards National Public Safety Broadband Network

Mar 30, 2017
News Releases

Washington, D.C. – This morning, Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) joined Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s event announcing a public-private partnership between FirstNet and AT&T to create a nationwide public safety broadband network. Investing in this national network will provide first responders with the communications infrastructure and tools they need to communicate with one another, respond to emergencies and disasters, and secure large events.

“In an emergency, our first responders must be able to effectively and efficiently communicate with one another over a secure network,” said Brooks. “A national broadband network specifically devoted to public safety will help our first responders do their jobs better and give them the communications tools they need to protect our communities day in and day out.”

During large, crowded events, emergencies or disasters, networks can become overloaded and inaccessible to the public as well as to first responders. This limits the ability of responders to use critical communications tools, like smartphones and mobile apps, to reach one another. In addition, cross-jurisdictional communications infrastructure is often necessary for police, fire and EMS officials to perform their duties.

The 9/11 Commission recommended that a national broadband network for public safety be created to connect police officers, firefighters and EMS providers in the event of an emergency or disaster. The public-private partnership announced today will build a high-speed network designed specifically for the millions of public safety users in all 50 states, 5 U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. Serving urban and rural communities alike, this network will modernize first responder communications and deliver specialized public safety features not currently available on wireless networks today.   

More information about FirstNet and the new public-private partnership is available here: https://www.firstnet.gov/news/firstnet-partners-att-build-wireless-broadband-network-americas-first-responders