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AT&T First Responder Network Expands 5G Coverage, Sets New Goals; President Jason Porter Quoted

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AT&T FirstNet, the company’s network designed for U.S. first responders, has widened its 5G availability to 10 new locations throughout the country, covering a radius of over 2.81 million square miles.

First responders in Savannah, Georgia; Western Kansas; Lansing, Michigan; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Toledo, Ogio; Charleston, South Carolina; Hilton Head, South Carolina; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Richmond, Virginia; and Redmond, Washington will all now have access to 5G service, the telecommunications company said Tuesday.

“Interoperable connectivity is the foundation of FirstNet and the entire public safety-centric ecosystem it is driving. As public safety’s partner, we’ve moved faster than anyone to deliver more coverage across tribal, rural and urban areas, powering the connections first responders count on most,” commented Jason Porter, president of AT&T Public Sector and FirstNet, as well as a recent Wash100 Award winner.

Additionally, AT&T FirstNet has unveiled and launched the Band 14 spectrum, which is a line created specially for the FirstNet Authority organization for emergency calls. In appropriate situations, the Band 14 line can be cleared and locked so that emergency responders can use the data they need with no interruptions or delays.

Through a partnership with Safer Buildings Coalition, the company is looking to meet the need of the estimated 80% of calls that are sourced indoors. This agreement aims to boost the mission of public safety officials who will likely be calling from an inside location.

AT&T FirstNet is also attempting to combat weather challenges and climate events (of which there were over 60 in the U.S. during 2021) through the addition of a third pathway to each of the network’s mobility hubs for emergency purposes. These pathways have been established specifically with environmental misfortune in mind.

With their non-commercial network service that intends to reach first responders across the spectrum – including career and volunteer at the federal, tribal and local levels in urban, suburban and rural locations alike – AT&T FirstNet wants to treat its calls with priority in order to potentially help save lives.

Since its inception in 2017, the network has spent upwards of $130 billion on the cause. They have also focused on serving indigenous American communities in their new expansion, increasing their coverage to 100 cell sites in the Navajo Nation.

“The FirstNet buildout represents a historic investment in broadband infrastructure for the Navajo Nation. Our first responders have used FirstNet mobile technology during wildfires, large public events and for COVID-19 mitigation efforts,” said Jonathan Nez, president of Navajo Nation.

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