FBI strikes $92M agreement for additional FirstNet capabilities

The largest commitment to the platform by a federal agency to date, the FBI has secured FirstNet Ready devices like smartphones, air cards and modems.
(Getty Images)

The FBI expanded its use of FirstNet in a $92 million agreement with AT&T for additional mobility capabilities supporting its day-to-day and emergency operations.

FirstNet is the only nationwide, high-speed broadband platform exclusive to the public safety community, and it will prioritize the access of law enforcement agencies like the FBI to voice and data over other spectrum uses in an emergency.

The FBI’s new agreement with AT&T represents the largest commitment to FirstNet by such an agency to date, securing FirstNet Ready devices like smartphones, air cards and modems.

“FirstNet was built with and for all of public safety – including our federal first responders,” said Ed Parkinson, CEO of the FirstNet Authority, in Tuesday’s announcement. “We are pleased to see the [Department of Justice] expand its use of the network platform to connect more agencies within the law enforcement community.”


Other DOJ agencies using FirstNet include 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. The FBI’s new agreement allows any of them to expand their use of FirstNet and others to begin use.

ATF was the first federal agency to fully adopt FirstNet in 2018 with about 4,800 users.

AT&T built FirstNet in a public-private partnership with the independent federal agency the FirstNet Authority. FirstNet performs faster than commercial networks by operating on high-quality Band 14 spectrum.

More than 14,000 public safety agencies were subscribed to FirstNet as of Sept. 30.

Dave Nyczepir

Written by Dave Nyczepir

Dave Nyczepir is a technology reporter for FedScoop. He was previously the news editor for Route Fifty and, before that, the education reporter for The Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs, California. He covered the 2012 campaign cycle as the staff writer for Campaigns & Elections magazine and Maryland’s 2012 legislative session as the politics reporter for Capital News Service at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he earned his master’s of journalism.

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