FirstNet marks major milestone with opening of test lab

November 9, 2016

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) today announced the opening of the FirstNet Innovation and Test Lab at its technical headquarters in Boulder, Colo.

FirstNet’s state-of-the-art lab will be a “plug and play” environment in which FirstNet and its future private industry partner will test public safety features, devices, and apps before they are deployed on the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (“Network”).

“The opening of our lab is a great accomplishment for FirstNet in our efforts to deploy public safety’s network and we’re proud to open it ahead of schedule and under budget,” said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth. “This will enable FirstNet to get advanced technology into the hands of our first responders and help them save lives and secure communities.”

The FirstNet Lab will be used to conduct validation and verification testing for the Network, services, and features, and aid future research and development related to public safety broadband technologies. This testing will help reduce the time to initially field test and deploy public safety features of the FirstNet Network, including quality of service; priority; pre-emption; and other future mission-critical services and applications. The lab is ready now with all the utilities needed for the future FirstNet partner to install its equipment and begin testing.

“When first responders are racing to help in disasters and emergencies, they need communications tools that are tested and proven to work,” said FirstNet Chief Technology Officer Jeff Bratcher. “This lab will help FirstNet and our future partner ensure that public safety features, devices, and applications run properly on the Network and are ready for first responders to use.”

The lab will also be the foundation for a future FirstNet Training/Experience Center for hands-on training, demonstration, and user evaluation of future FirstNet Network technologies and applications.

To download a fact sheet and watch a video on the FirstNet Innovation and Test Lab, visit FirstNet.gov.