Warren County’s first responders are getting a boost in their wireless communications with the addition of two new, purpose-built cell sites. The sites – located in Warrenton and near Lake Gaston – are part of the FirstNet network expansion taking place in North Carolina, which is bringing increased coverage, capacity and capability to first responders across the state. Plus, the new FirstNet site will give Warren County’s first responders access to the fastest overall network experience.
FirstNet is the nationwide, wireless communications platform dedicated to America’s first responders and public safety community. Backed by Congress, it’s designed to strengthen and modernize public safety communications, helping first responders connect to the critical information they need – every day and in every emergency. FirstNet is being built with AT&T in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) – an independent agency within the federal government.
To ensure AT&T and the FirstNet Authority are putting coverage and capacity where first responders need it most, the FirstNet build is being done with direct feedback from state and public safety officials. One site is located along Highway 903 near Lake Gaston to provide coverage to public safety and lake visitors. And, the other new site on Community Lane in Warrenton was selected to resolve a previous coverage gap in the area.
Congressman G. K. Butterfield and the FirstNet Authority joined AT&T this morning for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to launch the new FirstNet cell sites.
These are the first new FirstNet sites to be publicly announced in North Carolina following Gov. Roy Cooper’s decision to advance the state’s public safety broadband communications with FirstNet. The sites are being constructed using the FirstNet Band 14 spectrum as well as other spectrum bands in the AT&T commercial spectrum portfolio. Band 14 has also been added on existing sites across North Carolina.
In addition to further elevating public safety’s connected experience in support of their emergency response, the new sites will also help improve the overall coverage experience for AT&T wireless customers in the area. Residents, visitors and businesses can take advantage of the AT&T spectrum bands, as well as Band 14 when additional capacity is available.
These cell sites aren’t the only connectivity enhancements Warren County’s public safety community will benefit from if they subscribe to FirstNet. A FirstNet Satellite Cell on Light Truck (SatCOLT) was also on display during today’s celebration.
This is a large, heavy-duty portable cell site that connects via satellite – not fiber. It’s part of the nationwide fleet of 75 deployable network assets available to FirstNet subscribers at no additional charge. Public safety agencies on FirstNet can request the equipment for added support during planned events or emergencies. The deployable network asset is designed to keep FirstNet subscribers connected to the information they need, no matter where their mission takes them – allowing first responders to make rescues, communicate and coordinate their emergency response, or aid in recovery, even in the most remote parts of the state.