North Dakota’s first responders are getting a major boost in their wireless communications with the addition of new, purpose-built FirstNet cell sites in Forest River, Gladstone, and Sawyer, N.D. This new infrastructure is a part of the FirstNet network expansion taking place across the state, bringing increased coverage, capacity and capabilities for public safety.
AT&T has also launched additional cell sites in the following 6 communities: Epping, McGregor, Grenora, Williston, Harwood and Raleigh, N.D. These will enhance those communities’ 4G LTE coverage and help give residents and first responders faster, more reliable wireless service.
“The new FirstNet towers and network additions across North Dakota are critical updates to our state’s infrastructure for the benefit of both public safety and consumers,” said Duane Schell, North Dakota Chief Technology Officer. “We’re encouraged at the pace and projections for future towers in 2020.”
FirstNet is the only nationwide, high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built for America’s first responders and the extended public safety community. It’s built with AT&T in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) – an independent agency within the federal government.
That’s why AT&T has a responsibility unlike any other network provider. And unlike commercial networks, FirstNet provides real, dedicated mobile broadband when needed with always-on priority and preemption for first responders. This helps ensure North Dakota first responders connect to the critical information they need – every day and in every emergency. Plus, it’s giving first responders unthrottled access to the nation’s fastest overall network experience.
Building upon AT&T’s current and planned investments in North Dakota, we’re actively extending the reach of FirstNet to give agencies large and small the reliable, unthrottled connectivity and modern communications tools they need. Currently well ahead of schedule, the FirstNet build has already brought North Dakota first responders:
“North Dakota’s first responders deserve reliable coverage across the state to help them effectively and efficiently address incidents. And with FirstNet, that’s exactly what they’re getting,” said Cheryl Riley, president, AT&T Northern Plains. “We couldn’t be more pleased to support the public safety mission and bring the state’s first responders – and residents – greater access to the connectivity they need. Working with public safety we’ve made FirstNet nimble, adaptable and ready to scale for even the most severe situations as we’re seeing currently with COVID-19.”
The COVID-19 health crisis illustrates precisely why public safety fought for the creation of FirstNet. Where public safety goes, we go. We’ve answered the call for tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods and other natural disasters. But with COVID-19, it is like experiencing a perpetual emergency in every community across the country. Public safety’s network is being tested in a completely new way, and it’s hitting the mark. At the beginning of the pandemic, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation were pleased to give over $47,000 across North Dakota for personal protective equipment, childcare services, and beds for community health care providers and first responders on the front lines of the pandemic, as well as replenishing food bank stocks in Fargo and Bismarck.
“FirstNet is a dedicated broadband platform for public safety, by public safety,” said FirstNet Authority CEO Edward Parkinson. “We worked hand-in-hand with North Dakota’s public safety community to understand their needs for the network. And these network enhancements are a prime example of how that input and feedback is becoming reality. We look forward to supporting the state’s first responders’ use of FirstNet to help them save lives and protect communities.”
In addition to further elevating public safety’s connected experience in support of their emergency response through FirstNet, all new infrastructure will 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.
For more about the value FirstNet is bringing to public safety, check out FirstNet.com.