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Chris Sambar: AT&T, FirstNet to Integrate Cybersecurity Into Devices, Apps for Public Safety Broadband Network

Chris Sambar, a senior vice president at AT&T, has said the First Responder Network Authority and AT&T will work to integrate cybersecurity into devices and applications as part of the proposed wireless broadband network for public safety personnel, Federal News Radio reported Thursday.

“First of all, the devices themselves need to be screened and ensured that they are secured for first responders,” Sambar told lawmakers Tuesday during a Senate subcommittee hearing.

He said first responders will get their applications from a FirstNet app store “where the applications will be vetted for security and functionality” and that first responder traffic will operate on an encrypted wireless core network.

He also mentioned the plan to establish a security operations center and efforts to provide broadband coverage in rural areas.

AT&T has started to develop 72 cell tower trucks that will be fielded across the country to provide coverage to disaster-stricken areas as well as in sites that lack broadband coverage, Sambar told lawmakers.

“We can drive one of these trucks into that rural area and pop up an antenna, and create a cell phone connection as well as a broadband connection for first responders, where they would have priority access to it,” he added.

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