Over the past five years, the State of New Hampshire, FirstNet®, Built with AT&T and the FirstNet Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) have forged a strong public-private partnership, one that serves as a model for other states looking to bolster communications for their public safety agencies. New Hampshire first responders deserve reliable coverage across the state. And with FirstNet, that’s exactly what they’re getting.
On Thursday, October 26, 2023, Governor Chris Sununu joined New Hampshire Safety Commissioner Robert Quinn, AT&T, the FirstNet Authority and others at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport to highlight this collaboration and to mark several milestones in the state’s buildout of FirstNet, the only nationwide, high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to the extended public safety community.
“Over the past five years, my office and state officials have worked to deliver and enhance state of the art, highly secure public safety communications capabilities that are second to none. Our first responders deserve nothing less,” said Governor Sununu. “New Hampshire has the best FirstNet plan of any state in the nation, and we appreciate our collaboration with AT&T to bring much-needed connectivity to areas that have struggled with wireless services for years. Together, we look ahead to putting some of these new resources into action at the State Police and elsewhere, and to further strengthening public safety communications across the state.”
Some of the milestones announced included:
- New Hampshire State Police is connecting its officers to FirstNet, equipping first responders with the latest technological capabilities and reliable access to information in the field.
- FirstNet is now being used by first responders in more than 110 communities across New Hampshire, including those at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.
- New technology is now in use in NH – a Compact Rapid Deployable (CRD) or portable cell site generates an area of FirstNet cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. To best support the needs of public safety agencies, the CRD is designed to be easily transported and set up within minutes.
- The first five-year buildout phase of the FirstNet public safety network in New Hampshire was recently completed with the launch of a new cell site in North Hampton.
- Band 14 spectrum – nationwide, high-quality spectrum set aside by the federal government specifically for FirstNet – has been rolled out on more than 300 sites across New Hampshire. When not in use by FirstNet subscribers, AT&T customers can enjoy Band 14’s added coverage and capacity.
- In New Hampshire, AT&T has invested more than $80 million in its wireless network infrastructure (including FirstNet) from 2020-2022.
“I am pleased to announce today the transition of FirstNet, Built with AT&T to the communications network of interoperability experienced by the New Hampshire State Police. I wish to acknowledge both FirstNet and AT&T for their persistence that brought this opportunity to fruition. State Police today will receive by virtue of this network, uninterrupted and persistent broadband connectivity provided by FirstNet through what is described as ruthless preemption,” said Safety Commissioner Robert Quinn. “I want to acknowledge and thank Governor Sununu for his leadership and support of the FirstNet initiative regarding public safety statewide. Next generation communications technology is an ever-changing environment and the work performed by the Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC) has been the result of this opportunity. I appreciate their efforts and I look forward to working in concert with them, along with FirstNet and AT&T to advance interoperability communications for all public safety officials throughout New Hampshire.”
The Derry Police Department was the first agency in New Hampshire to join FirstNet, and the collaboration has resulted in significant public safety benefits. The largest high school in New Hampshire is located in Derry, with more than 3,400 students and 400 staff letting out at roughly the same time every day. Derry Police had experienced intermittent and dropped connectivity for all their mobile computers prior to becoming FirstNet users, especially during the late afternoon and evening commute hours.
Since becoming FirstNet subscribers, Derry PD has seen improvement with uninterrupted communication capabilities even during peak times.
FirstNet helps departments like Derry and others solve common and long-standing communications challenges like interoperability, network congestion and commercial network providers slowing public safety’s data connection. It’s giving them superior coverage for day-to-day emergencies and life-saving missions. As FirstNet continues to grow, these advanced capabilities will continue to help fire, EMS and law enforcement in New Hampshire and across the country save lives and protect our communities.
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