Verizon offered reassurance a dedicated public safety network it is planning to build will be interoperable with the first responder network being constructed by AT&T.
In a LinkedIn blog post Michael Maiorana, Verizon’s SVP of Enterprise Solutions for the public sector, explained Verizon’s public safety core would not directly connect with the AT&T-built FirstNet core. Instead, he said, both operators would “provide transport services that deliver traffic to FirstNet’s data centres via IP backhaul” to create an interoperable solution.
“In addition to everyday voice and data services, first responders would also have access to FirstNet applications on both networks, as well as a second network to fall back on,” Maiorana wrote: “Having two networks will provide unrivalled nationwide coverage, redundancy and reliability.”
Maiorana said the setup won’t introduce any additional security vulnerabilities, adding “internet companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon provide seamless customer experiences regardless of broadband access type or provider. We will do the same.”
The executive’s comments follow an announcement from Verizon in August it is planning to build its own dedicated nationwide US public safety network. Verizon said the network would “complement” rather than compete with the network being built by AT&T.
AT&T in March won a $46 billion federal contract from the First Responder Network Authority – known as FirstNet – to construct and offer a dedicated wireless network and service to emergency personnel across the country. More than 40 per cent of US states have already “opted-in” to the AT&T build, but Verizon is aiming to keep a stake in the public safety market.