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FirstNet launches app developer program

FirstNet has launched a developer program for apps designed for first responders running on the nationwide broadband wireless network.

Developers will have access to a specialized portal where they'll find resources for building testing, deploying and maintaining public safety applications for the network. In addition to application programming interfaces and software development kits, the portal includes security, data privacy and scalability guidelines.

Apps will be reviewed by FirstNet and its partner AT&T for relevancy and quality before they are approved. FirstNet suggests that app developers look into areas like in-building mapping, forensic intelligence and field reporting.

The developer program is designed to feed the FirstNet app store. First announced in May, the app store is envisioned as a one-stop shop for secure solutions optimized for the FirstNet network and a way to give companies the chance to offer their products nationwide.

“The developer program establishes a clear line of sight between public safety and app developers,” Chris Sambar, AT&T's senior vice president for FirstNet, said in a statement. “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.”

“The FirstNet app store will combine the convenience of a public app store with the security of a private app store,” said FirstNet CEO Mike 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, officials said.

FirstNet choose AT&T to build out the nationwide infrastructure for its first responder communication network earlier this year.

States are in the process of deciding whether to opt into FirstNet or build their own network. Indiana opted in this week, making it the 25th state to join FirstNet.

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a reporter/producer at GCN.

Before joining GCN, Leonard worked as a local reporter for The Smithfield Times in southeastern Virginia. In his time there he wrote about town council meetings, local crime and what to do if a beaver dam floods your back yard. Over the last few years, he has spent time at The Commonwealth Times, The Denver Post and WTVR-CBS 6. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received the faculty award for print and online journalism.

Leonard can be contacted at mleonard@gcn.com or follow him on Twitter @Matt_Lnrd.

Click here for previous articles by Leonard.


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