Band 14, FirstNet

First Responder Network Authority

What is Band 14?

It is the spectrum licensed to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to create a United States nationwide public-safety wireless broadband network. Band 14 represents 20 MHz of highly desirable spectrum in the 700 MHz band that provides good propagation in urban and rural areas and decent penetration into buildings.

First Responders will have priority on this network along with interoperable federal agencies, but the federal legislation that created FirstNet and authorized network construction may extend the uses to:

  •    Multiple levels of responders, such as municipality departments and utilities
  •    Virtually any government user
  •    Commercial entities and consumers in certain incidents and circumstances
  •    Rural and remote areas which are not profitable for commercial wireless carriers

FirstNet’s network and spectrum could serve a wide variety of needs, including those of families, small businesses and educational facilities and districts.

Important Dates Initiating Progress

  • 9/11/01 – The terrorist attacks on the United States elevated the importance for the creation of an ultimate Federal/First Responder communications network.
  • 11/25/2002 – The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is established.  Interoperabile communications between federal, state, and local first responders is an objective.
  • 9/2012 – FirstNet was officially established by Congress via The Spectrum Act of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.  Also, at this time, Congress provided $7B for costs related to planing and deploying the broadband network.  The law directed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to establish the State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP) to support states as they prepare for the launch of the network.  The initial number set aside for the SLIGP was $135M.
  • 9/2013 – 54 states and territories were awarded $116M in grants to conduct outreach to determine their needs, gaps, and priorities  for public safety wireless broadband and to prepare for formal consultations with FirstNet.
  • 2014 – 5 entities are awarded the “Early Builder” status to test FirstNet Deployment.  The entities are: AdCom911, CO | Harris Co. TX | LA-RICS, CA |  JerseyNet, NJ | NMDIT, NM
  • 11/2014 – The 2014 National Emergency Communications Plan is established and continues efforts towards funding for interoperabile communications utilizing latest technologies for first responders.  At this time, over 48,000 stakeholders for FirstNet are approached and counciled by the possible participating states.
  • 12/2017 – Preemption is now available in opt-in states to FirstNet subscribers at no additional charge. Ultimately, FirstNet, through its partners, intends to provide service in all the states, even if a state chooses not to participate in the network.
  • 29/2017 – First Responder Network goes nationwide as all 50 states, 2 territories, and the District of Columbia Opt-in to join FirstNet