AT&T, FirstNet Launch App Store Initiative

AT&T and FirstNet have launched a program to get developers and first responders together to find innovative way to use "state of the art" communications tools made available via the new broadband emergency response network.

They are looking for additions to the FirstNet app store, which will provide first responders open standards apps for, among other things, situational awareness, mapping, field reporting and records management, wearables and forensics.

Apps can be submitted and receive either a "certified" or "reviewed" designation, depending on an app's "uptime availability, resiliency and scalability for simultaneous users," after which it can be published in the FirstNet app store.

Related: Verizon to Build Own Public Safety Network

AT&T describes the initiative as "the first step in an ongoing initiative that aims to source innovation to aid the public safety community..."

FirstNet (the First Responder Network Authority) is an independent authority within Commerce whose job it is to make sure the interoperable broadband emergency communications network authorized by Congress and funded with spectrum auction proceeds gets built out and deployed.

Back in March, AT&T won the contract for the multi-billion-dollar, 25-year contract to build and maintain FirstNet, the interoperable first responder public safety network proposed by the 911 Commission well over a decade ago following first responder communication failures during the attack's tragic aftermath.

The announcement came the same day that the House Homeland Security Committee said it was holding a hearing on the status of emergency communications, including hearing from FirstNet director of public affairs Ed Parkinson.

(Photo viaFirst Responder Network Authority’s Flickr. Image uploaded on July 18, 2017 and used perCreative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 16x9 aspect ratio.)

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.