Utilities are next to join nationwide first responder communications network

The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. changed the country and continue to impact U.S. thinking, policy and regulations. While the events of that day showed some of humankind’s greatest strengths, they also uncovered some weaknesses in the country’s preparedness for catastrophic events—one of the biggest being the communications systems used by first responders.
The lessons learned that day and the days and months that followed resulted in a nationwide wireless broadband network for first responders. This network, called FirstNet, was built and deployed through a first of its kind public-private partnership between the federal government and AT&T. After years of study, planning and buildout, FirstNet was finally launched in 2018 to first responders in each U.S. state and territory.
The next phase of FirstNet is focused on utilities. Electric, gas and water utilities qualify for FirstNet usage as restoration of their services are critical in saving lives and keeping communities safe. FirstNet provides utilities increased access to extended primary service during disasters when communications are critical and public cellular networks may be overwhelmed. FirstNet will also bring wireless coverage to areas that haven’t been served in the past, giving rural utilities, like cooperatives, access to broadband services and putting cutting-edge technologies within their reach.
Whether large or small, all utilities need a reliable communications network when disasters hit. POWERGRID International is hosting a free webcast featuring three industry experts, including a representative from AT&T, to discuss the need for utilities to advance their communications technologies. Please join Jennifer Runyon, Clarion Energy’s content director, and these experts to discover how FirstNet can help utilities gain reliable, secure and resilient communications that complements and connects to their primary networks.
The webcast, sponsored by Sierra Wireless, will begin at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time on Wednesday, Oct. 23. It will cover:
“- Critical networking strategies for field workers and grid equipment during disasters
“- The importance of FirstNet (priority service) to utilities and manufacturers
“- Future predictions for FirstNet and utilities
Click here to learn more and register for this free webcast.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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