The Big Game’s True Champions: Public Safety on FirstNet 

By Jason Porter, President, Public Sector and FirstNet, AT&T

At AT&T, we have spent decades unlocking new ways for fans to interact with entertainment through technology by reimagining how they experience sports – getting them closer to the action in the stadium, at home and on-the-go. But at a time when fans, athletes and organizations now collectively share more content than ever before, the need for first responders to have access to dedicated connectivity, innovative tools and mission-centric solutions has never been more vital. That’s why we answered public safety’s call and are delivering FirstNet®, Built with AT&T – the only network built with and for America’s first responders.

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We are public safety’s partner. And we are the only wireless carrier that backs first responders with their own network built specifically to keep them ready for every eventuality. That’s why we’ve spent over a year working hand-in-hand with local, state and federal public safety agencies to ensure they are the true champions at this year’s Big Game.

We’ve gone farther than anyone in the industry to secure public safety communications. And thanks to our public-private-partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) – an independent agency within the federal government – we’re delivering a one-of-a-kind 5G experience to first responders in Los Angeles.

When it comes to public safety, it’s essential we approach 5G in a different way. That’s why first responders continue to have the unthrottled connectivity and priority communications required to keep them protected from network congestion. And with Band 14 spectrum blanketed across the area and within the stadium, public safety will have its own lane of connectivity when needed.

To further support fans and first responders at the Big Game, AT&T has deployed 6 high-capacity Cells on Wheels (COWs) to provide even more bandwidth. But FirstNet is not a commercial network. That’s why we’ve stationed an additional 5 SatCOLTs (Satellite Cell on Light Trucks) from the FirstNet fleet to provide dedicated FirstNet coverage to first responders as needed. These assets are stationed in key areas in and around the stadium to support public safety’s unified command operations and interoperability needs.

Plus, FirstNet Response Operations – led by a group of former first responders – is also embedded with public safety to address their immediate needs leading up to and during the Big Game. The FirstNet team is also staffing key Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) in the Los Angeles area, as well as inside the stadium on game day. They’re outfitted with the new Communications Vehicle, a Micro SatCOLT, and a cache of network equipment and FirstNet Ready® devices to deploy at a moment’s notice.

And with FirstNet, we go beyond connectivity to support public safety’s needs. ROG the Dog will be at the EOCs to provide first responders with some much-needed stress relief before kickoff at the request of public safety command.

For fans, the Big Game is a single day: about 4 hours filled with a star-studded halftime show, over-the-top commercials and 2 powerhouse teams making once-in-a-lifetime plays. But for public safety, the Big Game is actually a massive public safety event comprised of a week-long operation that’s a year in the making. Thousands of first responders from agencies across jurisdictions come together to make it a success. And long after the game clock hits 0:00 and the crowds head home, public safety will be the True Champions that help to keep us all safe – no matter the mission.