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Organizations can optimize network performance and provide the capability to control access to vital services and information based on a user’s identity, role, and attributes. As the nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network is deployed and operated, FirstNet will need solutions to manage and control access to services and information of users and devices. The Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program is conducting research into technologies, standards, and best practices that will enable a federated identity management and attribute ecosystem for an interoperable nationwide network.


The different authentication factors pscr

The different authentication factors

A dedicated nationwide public safety broadband network based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology will have unique cybersecurity capabilities and features due to public safety’s operational environment and requirements. One significant public safety requirement is the ability to know the identity of a device on the network as well as who is using the device since it may be shared by multiple users. Being able to know the user’s identity, role, and attributes will allow the nationwide public safety broadband network to optimize the performance of their network and ensure access services and information is appropriately controlled. PSCR, a joint program between The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and The National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA), is sponsored by FirstNet to conduct multifaceted research in several areas, including identity management. PSCR is providing FirstNet with insight into existing commercial and government identity management solutions, gaps in standards, specifications, best practices, effective deployment and integration strategies, and technical barriers to adoption.


PSCR has access to diverse expertise in cybersecurity through NIST’s Information Technology Laboratory’s (ITL’s) Computer Security Division, Applied Cybersecurity Division, and National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) program. By leveraging this expertise, PSCR addresses FirstNet’s identity management needs by:

  • Reviewing relevant identity management standards, specifications, and best practices to identify gaps
  • Researching existing commercial and government identity management solutions and how they might be leveraged by FirstNet
  • Engaging early pubic safety LTE builders to identify public safety user attributes
  • Identifying effective deployment and integration strategies for a federated identity management and attribute ecosystem
  • Highlight where identity management policies need to be developed or modified to support public safety


The ability of public safety users to effectively conduct their mission by having the appropriate access to the nationwide public safety broadband network services and information based on their identity, roles, and attributes. This research will enable FirstNet to effectively identify users and devices to provide appropriate access to and optimize performance of their network.

authentication level of assurance pscr
Authentication level of assurance

Mobile identification token classifications
Mobile identification token classifications

Created August 17, 2016, Updated July 13, 2017