Officials with the Wisconsin Office of Emergency Communications and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) say implementation of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) continues to move forward. Testing of the FirstNet core dedicated to public safety is now complete. The core went live in March 2018.

The FirstNet core network is a key component for ensuring that users have a single interoperable platform nationwide. It has six primary functions including switching data, processing and reformatting information, storing and maintaining data and keeping the data secure. Since launching this spring, FirstNet has been testing the core to validate its overall performance and resiliency.

Wisconsin is among one of the 56 states and territories to “opt-in” to the FirstNet state plan. FirstNet has partnered with AT&T to implement the NPSBN, which will help Wisconsin’s first responders have high speed wireless communications for their mobile devices and data terminals, according to AT&T. By the end of 2018, 30 percent of the planned network build-out in Wisconsin will be completed.

To increase the existing coverage footprint, additional tower sites in Wisconsin are being built. Currently, there are 20 FirstNet-specific tower sites and one in-building enhancement either under development or planned over the next five years. AT&T officials say five of those tower sites will be built to specifically enhance coverage for tribes in Wisconsin.

For more information on FirstNet in Wisconsin, please contact Aaron Midthun at (715) 559-9057 or Bill Posteluk at (414) 530-5526.