Signing up for service to the national communications network dedicated to first responders just became more convenient.
(Mike Mozart / Flickr)
AT&T announced this week it has opened enrollment to FirstNet at its more than 5,300 physical retail stores, providing another option for prospective first responder customers that may not have access through their public safety agencies.
The First Responder Network Authority and its vendor tasked with building out the national communications network for public safety announced Monday that first responders can now sign up for a "Subscriber Paid User" service by walking into any AT&T store. Previously, first responders seeking enrollment in FirstNet were only able subscribe to an "Agency Paid User" service by working with the company through their respective public safety agencies. Now, first responders like volunteer fire fighters, who may not work for an agency that supplies devices, have a way to enroll in FirstNet.
"Now, no matter where they live or work, first responders can easily subscribe to their network," said Chris Sambar, senior vice president of AT&T-FirstNet, in a press release. "This means public safety nationwide will no longer be limited by outdated or unreliable communications capabilities."
The company says that verified first responders also have the option to sign up for FirstNet service online.
"Qualified first responder agencies enter into an agreement with AT&T that enables them to verify individual first responders who are eligible for the Subscriber Paid User offer through an online portal," an AT&T spokesperson wrote StateScoop in an email. "Verified first responders will then receive an activation code that can be presented in store to sign up."
The announcement comes a few months after AT&T received the go-ahead to enter the second phase of its buildout for the $46 billion partnership with the federal government, deploying Band 14 wireless spectrum dedicated for use by first responders like police, firefighters, and paramedics. It also comes after an announcement last month that AT&T is prepared to invest $2 billion in its rural coverage, both in support of FirstNet and to support its commercial subscribers.
More information about FirstNet service rates, plans, and compatible devices can be found on its commercial website.