From Digi: Partnering with AT&T and FirstNet on Extended Primary Communications

Oct 13, 2019

Digi International recently announced the release of the FirstNet Ready™ Digi® WR54 router for mission-critical cellular communications. Designed to meet the needs of services and agencies that are called into action in emergency situations, Digi WR54 operates on Band 14, the high-quality spectrum set aside by the government specifically for primary and pre-emptive communications by police, fire and other critical infrastructure and services. This ensures that public cellular communications do not jam communication channels and impact the work of emergency services.

Emergency Services Extend Beyond Police, Fire and Ambulance

Many different services are needed during emergencies and in the aftermath of catastrophic events such as natural disasters or chemical spills. For this reason, it is important to know that the FirstNet® communications network is not just restricted to police, fire and ambulance services. There is actually an enormous list of users in critical infrastructure and other city services that potentially qualify for FirstNet under the “Extended Primary Users” category of services.

An article from quoted a prepared statement from AT&T that summarizes the intent for the Extended Primary market:

“Extended primary subscribers are an extended community that could be called on to help support our first responders—from the mitigation, remediation, overhaul, clean up and restoration to the provisioning of other services required during the time of an emergency or its aftermath. To uphold the integrity of FirstNet, eligibility for extended primary users will be rigorously reviewed before service will be approved.”

In this post, we provide a summary list of the users that may qualify as Extended Primary services. Digi can help to assess your needs and qualifications, and evaluate how the FirstNet Ready™ Digi WR54 can support communications requirements so that your organization and community are better prepared to respond quickly in the event of an emergency. Contact us to start a conversation.

Please refer to the following resources for official guidelines and additional information:

Summary List of Extended Primary Users

In addition to police, fire, ambulance and correctional facilities, the “Extended Primary” services that qualify for FirstNet include the following categories. We have listed some examples of organizations in each category.


  • Drilling oil and gas wells
  • Power generation utilities, including hydroelectric, fossil fuel, nuclear electric power, solar electric power and wind electric power generation


  • Power and communications line construction
  • Telecommunications, including wired, wireless, satellite, cellular and resellers

Alarm systems:

  • Alarm system apparatus, equipment and supplies
  • Alarm systems Manufacturing
  • Security systems services

Water and waste management:

  • Water supply and irrigation systems
  • Sewage treatment facilities
  • Waste collection, including solid waste, hazardous waste and landfill
  • Waste management including landfill, solid waste incinerators and waste treatment
  • Septic tank and related services


  • Air travel, including passenger and freight air transportation, and air traffic control
  • Short line and line haul railroads
  • Trucking and freight delivery systems
  • Commuter rail, mixed transit, bus and other urban transit systems
  • School, employee and charter bus systems
  • Postal service and private mail carriers
  • Couriers, express delivery services and local messenger services
  • Transportation administration, regulation and licensing
Health care and public health:
  • Health care providers, including general medical and surgical hospitals
  • Freestanding ambulatory surgical and emergency centers
  • Public health programs

Critical manufacturing

  • Building construction services, including industrial, commercial and institutional construction
  • Highway, street and bridge construction
  • Water, sewer and other heavy and civil engineering construction


  • Chemical engineering services
  • Chemical building inspection services
  • Chemical environmental and scientific consulting services and protective services

Information technology:

  • Computer systems design services
  • Computer disaster recovery

Professional, scientific and technical services

  • Geophysical surveying and mapping services
  • Survey and mapping services

As Digi has been serving these public utilities, transit systems and critical infrastructure services for decades, we have the knowledge, the teams and the capabilities to support municipal infrastructure and emergency services in their assessment of FirstNet communications and how they can be better prepared in emergencies.




Looking to integrate Digi products with your design? Our Applications Engineers offer free design and technical help for your latest designs. Contact us today!



Symmetry Electronics Logo


Why partner with Symmetry Electronics? Symmetry's technical staff is specially trained by our suppliers to provide a comprehensive level of technical support. Our in-house Applications Engineers provide free design services to help customers early in the design cycle, providing solutions to save them time, money and frustration. Contact Symmetry for more information.


Sign up to get tech news, product updates and store promos from Symmetry Electronics.


Choose Topic

Blog Archive


Previously Viewed Products