FirstNet Indiana: One Year In

Thousands of Indiana’s First Responders Now Trust FirstNet for their Communications

One year after Gov. Eric Holcomb’s decision to opt into FirstNet, thousands of Indiana’s first responders now rely on FirstNet for their wireless communications.

FirstNet is the country’s first nationwide public safety communications platform dedicated to first responders in times of need. Built with AT&T*, in public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority, FirstNet is bringing public safety a much-needed technology upgrade.

“One year has passed since Governor Holcomb opted in to FirstNet,” said David Vice, Executive Director – Integrated Public Safety Commission (IPSC). “In those 365 days, FirstNet has moved from concept to reality. Much work is left to be done, but I’ve been amazed at how fast FirstNet is being built and how many Indiana first responders are adopting the next-generation technology to protect and serve their communities. IPSC will continue to advocate on behalf of public safety during FirstNet’s implementation and adoption, but we can be proud that Indiana is, once again, leading the nation in advancing interoperable communications for public safety.”

Noblesville leads from the front

The first community to transform first responder communications in the Hoosier state was the City of Noblesville. All the city’s police, fire and EMS personnel now have access to FirstNet’s advanced technology to help them keep themselves and those they serve safe.

“We are proud to be the anchor tenant in Indiana and one of the first cities nationwide for this cutting-edge public safety communications platform,” Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear said when the city’s FirstNet news was announced in February. “We want to lead in technology and public safety, and this move allows us to do both and provide better service to our first responders, residents and guests in times of need.”

IoT Civic Hack

In April of 2018, FirstNet sponsored an AT&T hackathon in Fishers, Ind., focused on creating solutions for the public safety community. More than 600 developers, engineers, entrepreneurs, students, first responders and state officials gathered – including Congresswoman Susan Brooks, State of Indiana Chief Data Officer Darshan Shah, City of Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness, Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas G. Carter, Indianapolis Fire Chief Ernest Malone, and Indianapolis EMS Chief of IT & Informatics Tom Arkins.

And in just 24 hours, the winning teams came up with some amazing applications focused on public safety, including:


An app to help better engage and deploy civilian volunteers during emergencies.


A web-based app that would allow a 911 dispatcher to take control of a caller’s smartphone, so they could see and hear what is happening at the emergency location.


A lighting system that would alert the deaf community to tornado warnings.

The innovation didn’t stop there. One of the winning teams has gone on to test their solution, which uses new sensor technology to help locate building occupants during an emergency, with the Reno, Nevada, fire department.

It’s been a momentous year for FirstNet in Indiana,” said Bill Soards, President, AT&T Indiana. “We’ve seen some incredible enthusiasm with first responder adoption and hosted some great events with public safety from around the state. We look forward to continuing to innovate for our brave men and women in uniform and making FirstNet the best possible solution to help keep our communities and those who serve them safe.”

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*About AT&T Communications

We help family, friends and neighbors connect in meaningful ways every day. From the first phone call 140+ years ago to mobile video streaming, we innovate to improve lives. We have the nation’s largest and most reliable network and the nation’s best network for video streaming.** We’re building FirstNet just for first responders and creating next-generation mobile 5G. With DIRECTV and DIRECTV NOW, we deliver entertainment people love to talk about. Our smart, highly secure solutions serve over 3 million global businesses – nearly all of the Fortune 1000. And worldwide, our spirit of service drives employees to give back to their communities.

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