FirstNet, AT&T Launch First Developer Program for Public Safety
FirstNet and AT&T launched the first developer program geared toward America's first responders. This will encourage public safety-focused innovation to help equip first responders with state-of-the-art communications tools.
It also brings public safety closer to having their own app store where they can find new solutions purpose-built for their needs.
"This program will tap into the expertise and creativity of the developer community to drive innovation for public safety," said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth. "It will also connect first responders with developers to create apps that will help them stay safe and save lives."
The developer program will feed the FirstNet app store, providing public safety with a one-stop shop for reliable, highly secure solutions optimized for the FirstNet network. Based on common and open standards, this ecosystem will be an engine for innovative, cost effective and interoperable public safety solutions.
"The FirstNet app ecosystem is an important building block as we work to modernize public safety's communications tools and capabilities," said Chris Sambar, senior vice president, AT&T – FirstNet. "The FirstNet network will bring public safety the connectivity they need to communicate and collaborate. But it's really what we're able to build on top of that connectivity that will make the biggest difference in these brave men and women's day-to-day operations."
Calling All Developers
Through the FirstNet developer program, developers will be able to create apps for public safety and scale them for first responders like never before. Developers now have access to a specialized portal housing resources to help them successfully build, test, deploy and maintain public safety applications. In addition to programming tools like APIs and software development kits, the portal features guidelines to follow when developing for public safety.
Some areas of focus for potential developers include, but are not limited to:
- Situational awareness
- In-building mapping
- Field reporting and records management
- Wearable devices and telemetry solutions
- Forensic intelligence
The program will also enable collaboration between first responders and developers to create mission-critical apps for public safety and tools that give them access to timely information. FirstNet and AT&T will host events and challenges to help foster this collaboration.
"The developer program establishes a clear line of sight between public safety and app developers. It will help ensure the apps developed truly meet first responders' field needs. It's a really important thing that was missing from the market. Until now," Sambar added.
Spurring Innovation for Public Safety
With the launch of this program, developers can now submit their apps for inclusion in the FirstNet app store as either "certified" or "reviewed" for first responder use.
Upon submission, FirstNet and AT&T will:
- Evaluate performance, service-level agreements and potential source code vulnerabilities.
- Provide a "certified" or "reviewed" rating depending on the application's uptime availability, resiliency and scalability for simultaneous users.
- Publish "certified" and "reviewed" apps in the FirstNet app store.
"The FirstNet app store will combine the convenience of a public app store with the security of a private app store," said Poth. "We look forward to working with companies, individual developers and first responders to stock the store's virtual shelves with fully vetted and highly secure apps to help public safety personnel achieve their mission."
In addition to working with developers, the program will evaluate existing public safety apps for inclusion in the store. Details on how to submit apps as well as the criteria by which they are evaluated can all be found on the FirstNet developer portal.
The development of the FirstNet app ecosystem was informed in consultation with public safety, by the history and traditions of public safety and through substantial research into the needs of public safety. This was done in close collaboration with APCO International and other public safety organizations to support app security, interoperability and reliability.