FirstNet Opens Test Lab

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The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) has opened the FirstNet Innovation and Test Lab at its technical headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. FirstNet’s 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.

As CivSource has previously reported, those products are already starting to make their way to market. Yesterday, Nokia launched its first public safety focused push-to-video solution and last month, Cradlepoint announced support for Band 14 the spectrum band devoted to FirstNet.

FirstNet CEO Mike Poth said in a statement that the lab was opening ahead of schedule and under budget – an efficiency improvement for the Authority was has lagged behind on other deadlines. “This will enable FirstNet to get advanced technology into the hands of our first responders and help them save lives and secure communities,” Poth said in a statement.

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.

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.