GOVERNOR’S OFFICE NEWS RELEASE: Hawai‘i commits to FirstNet Network to protect lives, communities

Posted on Aug 25, 2017 in Latest News, Newsroom, Press Releases

HONOLULU — Hawai‘i has become the latest state in the country to “opt in” to FirstNet, leveraging advanced technologies that will help first responders save lives and protect communities. Gov. David Y. Ige signed the letter of intent last week.

“The FirstNet network will transform the way fire, police, EMS, emergency management and other public safety personnel communicate and share information, enabling them to better serve their communities during emergencies and day to day operations,” said Gov. Ige.

FirstNet, or First Responder Network Authority, is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce authorized by Congress in 2012 to develop, build and operate the nationwide, broadband network that equips first responders.

“I believe this is long overdue,” said Maj. Gen. Arthur “Joe” Logan, state adjutant general, state Homeland Security advisor and single point of contact for Hawai‘i’s FirstNet initiative. “The 9-11 commission required that first responders should have interoperable communications. That’s what FirstNet will provide to Hawai‘i.”

“FirstNet leverages nationwide resources and a robust, interoperable system that is particularly important to a state like Hawai‘i, given the inherent challenges of our island geography. FirstNet also provides expanded statewide coverage and leading edge technologies for first responders and law enforcement to help save lives and protect residents,” added State Chief Information Officer Todd Nacapuy.

FirstNet and AT&T will build — at no cost to states — a highly secure wireless broadband communications network for Hawai‘i’s first responder and public safety community. Use fees paid by the states will go toward future upgrades and maintenance. The FirstNet network will deliver innovation and create an entire system of modernized devices, apps and tools for first responders.

Specifically, FirstNet and AT&T will:

  • Connect first responder subscribers to the critical information they need in a highly secure manner when handling day-to-day operations, responding to emergencies.
  • Create an efficient communications experience for public safety personnel in agencies and jurisdictions across the state during natural disasters.
  • Drive infrastructure investments and create jobs across the state.
  • Usher in a new wave of innovation that first responders can depend on. This will create an ever-evolving set of life-saving tools for public safety, including public safety apps, specialized devices and Internet of Things technologies.

FirstNet has provided states and territories customized, digital state plans outlining how the FirstNet network can be deployed in their state/territory. Based on those plans, governors are to decide whether to join the FirstNet network (or “opt in”) or build their own state public safety network (“opt out”). Once a state/territory opts in, FirstNet becomes available to its public safety community. States/territories that choose to opt out are responsible for deploying, operating, maintaining and improving a FirstNet-compatible public safety network in their state/territory at their own cost. For more information about FirstNet, visit: https://www.firstnet.gov/

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Media Contacts:

Keith DeMello

Sr. Communications Manager

Office of Enterprise Technology Services

Office: 808-586-1866

keith.demello@hawaii.gov

 

Jodi Leong

Deputy Communications Director/Press Secretary

Office of the Governor

Office: 808-586-0043

Mobile: 808-798-3929

jodi.c.leong@hawaii.gov

 

Cindy McMillan

Communications Director

Office of the Governor

Office: 808-586-0012

Mobile: 808-265-7974

cindy.mcmillan@hawaii.gov