One of the key elements of the FirstNet Network is the capability for defined quality of service, priority and preemption (QPP) to ensure users have the appropriate priority and network access at all times. Public safety agencies have local control to determine the priority level of users. AT&T defines QPP as:
- Quality of Service (QoS). Minimum and maximum service parameters delivered to users.
- Priority. Preferred access to network resources based on defined user levels.
- Preemption. Termination or relocation of lower priority users to provide higher priority users with access.
AT&T’s all-band solution offers priority and preemption not only on Band 14 spectrum provided by the FirstNet legislation, but on all of its commercial bands. This means priority and preemption is available to users immediately without need to wait for Band 14 deployment. It also means that public safety subscribers can use their existing compatible AT&T devices, saving both time and money.
AT&T has defined user types eligible for public safety priority service:
- Primary Users. Traditional first responders such as Law Enforcement, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as well as Emergency Management and 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs).
- Extended Primary Users. Entities that perform public safety services and support incident response such as hospitals, public works, transportation and utilities.
FirstNet service for Primary Users includes priority over other users with the ability to preempt their service if necessary to fulfill public safety’s mission. Extended Primary Users have priority service as an option without the ability to preempt others.