San José connects first responders to FirstNet citywide

AT&T has deployed Band 14 spectrum across the city, and AT&T claims FirstNet performs 25% faster than any commercial network in the country. (GettyImages)

San José, California, has become the first city to fully deploy FirstNet, connecting all first responders to the dedicated public safety communications platform, AT&T announced Thursday.

The carrier has deployed Band 14 spectrum across the city. AT&T claims FirstNet performs 25% faster than any commercial network in the country.

“Implementing FirstNet at full scale across the city is key to helping us create a new standard for public safety,” said Sam Liccardo, mayor of San José, in a statement. “We believe this is a model for cities across the country to ensure those charged with maintaining the safety of our residents and communities have the tools they need to stay connected during disasters and emergencies.”

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Built as part of a public-private partnership with the FirstNet Authority, the network provides unthrottled connectivity to all public safety personnel and emergency response staff. In early May, AT&T touted FirstNet progress, saying the network had more than 600,000 connections, with coverage and capacity expanded in more than 600 U.S. markets.

Agencies in the city that have signed on to FirstNet include: San José Police Department, San José Fire Department, Office of Emergency Management, Office of the City Manager, San José Environmental Services, San José Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services, San José International Airport, Office of Civic Innovation, Public Works, and Transportation.

RELATED: AT&T touts FirstNet progress, more than 600K connections

As part of AT&T’s partnership with the city of San Jose, the carrier said it’s deploying 670 smart lighting controllers and 550 LEDs to enhance lighting in city parks, and putting 15 digital infrastructure nodes to support first responders.

“We’re honored that the City of San José chose FirstNet to elevate their communications capabilities,” said Chris Congo, assistant vice president – AT&T Public Sector, in a statement. “It’s our mission to give first responders the cutting-edge tools they need to safely and effectively achieve their mission. FirstNet will help the City’s entire public safety community perform at the highest levels to keep themselves and those they serve out of harm’s way.”

AT&T beat out rivals to secure the FirstNet contract, a move MoffettNathanson analysts said Thursday looks “brilliant” in retrospect from a spectrum position.

“They [AT&T] have the industry’s best mix of millimeter wave (for speed) AND mid-band/low-band (for coverage),” senior analyst Craig Moffett wrote in a Thursday note to investors.

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