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Emergency Communication Networks

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

Wireless Broadband for Public Safety

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About FirstNet

The future of information sharing involves significant changes to broadband networks. One of those changes will likely involve devoting a portion of broadband to public safety during emergencies.
DPS-ECN is leading the effort to provide wireless broadband to Minnesota public safety officials. ECN staff members are working in coordination with the national effort organized under the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).

What Minnesota's public officials should know about FirstNet.


Opting in to FirstNet

The State of Minnesota finalized the contract with FirstNet and AT&T in May 2018. Minnesota’s law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services personnel and sovereign nations now have the opportunity to sign up for FirstNet. Learn more here.

In October 2017, Governor Mark Dayton announced that Minnesota will opt in to FirstNet, the wireless broadband network for first responders.

FirstNet has partnered with AT&T to build, deploy, operate and maintain the secure wireless broadband network for first responders for the next 25 years. ECN is now working with FirstNet and AT&T to develop the network needed for Minnesota’s public safety personnel.

Review Gov. Dayton’s opt in letter and accompanying news release.


Agencies Consider FirstNet Adoption

ECN is now facilitating workshops across the state as individual public safety agencies consider adoption FirstNet.

Any interested fire, emergency medical services, and law enforcement personnel, along with elected officials, are encouraged to attend. The workshops are part of the National Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) implementation timeline.

Review Minnesota's FirstNet Adoption Flow Diagram Guide.
Broadband Mobile Toolbox Study by Televate

Implementation Timeline

AT&T and FirstNet are joining ECN in meeting with individual public safety agencies across Minnesota during the workshop discussions.

The implementation process is currently in the second of five phases.

  • Phase two: AT&T and FirstNet are working on standing up the core dedicated network for public safety. This network will provide priority and preemption for public safety.

  • Phase three: Includes enhanced features-- like WiFi calling and voice over LTE-- will be offered to public safety using FirstNet.

  • Phase four: Public safety using FirstNet will experience mission critical features such as push-to-talk.

  • Phase five: Public safety will see additional features such as broadcast technology and enhanced location-based services.

The entire network should be built out by March 2023.



Melinda Miller
Wireless Broadband State Program Manager