AT&T offers three months of free wireless service on the FirstNet network to doctors and nurses dealing with coronavirus in the US, the company announced.
Nurses and doctors in the USA and the territories of the US already on FirstNet’s mobile response plans will receive the three-month credit automatically applied to a service line for a smartphone or tablet. Starting today, new subscribers will also be eligible for credit. Nurses and doctors can also get a $ 200 activation credit for a FirstNet-ready smartphone in a new FirstNet mobile response plan.
Actor John Krasinski mentioned the deal in the Sunday episode of his new YouTube series Some Good News. He and former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz also surprised a group of nurses at a Boston hospital with a visit to Fenway Park during the episode.
AT&T helped build the FirstNet network in a public-private partnership with the United States government. A key feature is that it prioritizes first responder calls and traffic over the network, using the preference to block some of the consumer traffic (except 911 calls).
The difference between FirstNet and other first responder networks is that it is built on hardware physically separate from AT&T’s own network, providing first responders with “their own national broadband network.”
But as FierceWireless explains, other carriers, such as Verizon, have struggled with that, claiming that since only AT&T has full interoperability with FirstNet, traffic from other carriers may not have priority in an emergency situation. AT&T, on the other hand, has said that traffic to any FirstNet device is prioritized regardless of the network it comes from.