Tennessee Becomes First in the Nation to Integrate FirstNet with AT&T ESInet for All 9-1-1 Call Centers Statewide

Thursday, February 16, 2023 | 09:16am

When a crisis occurs, calling 9-1-1 for assistance is crucial. 

That’s why 9-1-1 call centers need to be dependable and prepared for circumstances that might interrupt their data connections. For the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, that means ensuring the state’s 118 primary public safety answering points (PSAPs) or 9-1-1 call centers have backups in place in the event their primary fiber connections are disrupted for any reason.

This year, Tennessee has embarked upon a plan to fully back up all ofits 9-1-1 call centers with AT&T ESInet™ and FirstNet® – America’s public safety network – to increase their reliability and resiliency. This is a major step forward for public safety and the Volunteer State. Tennessee is leading the way to become the first state in the nation to implement full wireless backup through FirstNet to all 9-1-1 call centers statewide. Wireless backup means that during the toughest strains and worst-case scenarios, network connectivity will be available so that every Tennessean can know that 9-1-1 telecommunicators will answer their call.

How does it work? If AT&T ESInet detects a disruption to the primary 9-1-1 call center connections, it will automatically re-route 9-1-1 calls over the FirstNet network, ensuring they are answered.

Knox County, Tennessee recently became the first county in the state to activate its FirstNet backup in November.  AT&T worked very closely with the Knox County Emergency Communications District to help ensure the transition was a seamless experience and the additional connections worked reliably.

For Tennessee 9-1-1 call centers, migrating to AT&T ESInet means greater capacity to support elevated call volumes, increased interoperability among agencies, advanced reporting solutions to help increase operational effectiveness, and more reliability than ever.

This is a crucial milestone for public safety in Tennessee, and it’s also only the beginning. As new technology emerges, Tennessee’s 9-1-1 call centers will evolve so they are equipped with advanced technology to keep the communities they serve safe.

Plans are in place to have every Tennessee PSAP operating with FirstNet as its AT&T ESInet wireless backup by June of 2023, ensuring that every Tennessean can rely on this level of security and dependability should they ever need to pick up the phone to call 9-1-1.

Jim Bugel, president of the FirstNet Program, AT&T, and Curtis S. Sutton, executive director, Tennessee Emergency Communications Board.

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