AT&T’s FirstNet uses ‘deployable’ fleet for COVID response

The COVID-19 crisis has given AT&T’s FirstNet the opportunity to use its fleet of 76 “deployables” to provide emergency internet service. This fleet includes everything from a ground-based Cell on Wheels, a heavy-duty satellite cell on a light truck and a blimp…

In December 2019, AT&T announced that FirstNet had passed 1 million connections. All of FirstNet’s deployable assets can be dispatched on the scene within 14 hours following the initial emergency request. Porter said during the current crisis, for example, FirstNet sent one of its satellite trucks to provide a land-to-ship internet service for the Navy hospital ship Mercy in Los Angeles.

On today’s Cisco event, Andrés Irlando, Verizon’s SVP and president of public sector and Verizon Connect, said the company’s networks have performed well during the pandemic. He said prior to COVID, Verizon handled 650-670 million calls a day, but since the crisis it’s had days where it’s handled 800 million calls.