What’s the news?
Iron County’s first responders are getting a major boost in their wireless communications thanks to the FirstNet® network expansion currently underway by AT&T. We’ve added a new, purpose-built cell site located in Iron County that serves the western part of the town of Oma near Pine Lake. This site will provide coverage along Highway 51 when traveling north and south of Pine Lake. It will also give first responders on FirstNet – America’s public safety network – access to always-on, 24-hours-a-day priority and preemption across voice and data.
Why is this important?
We look at FirstNet as the most important wireless network in the country because it’s serving our first responders. And unlike commercial networks, FirstNet provides dedicated mobile broadband. Simply put, the FirstNet build is about where first responders need connectivity. To ensure AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority (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. This helps ensure Wisconsin first responders connect to the critical information they need – every day and in every emergency. Several new FirstNet cell sites in Wisconsin have already been launched in Auburndale, Bayfield, Brantwood, Butternut, Cable, Clam Lake, Cottage Grove, Cushing, Prentice, Marengo, Minocqua, New Lisbon, Salem, Saxon, Somerset, Twin Lakes, Waterloo, and Weyerhaeuser.
What are the benefits to first responders?
Building upon AT&T’s current and planned investments in Wisconsin, we’re actively extending the reach of FirstNet to give agencies large and small the reliable, unthrottled connectivity and modern communications tools they need. These sites were constructed using Band 14 spectrum, as well as AT&T commercial spectrum. Band 14 is nationwide, high quality spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet. We look at Band 14 as public safety’s VIP lane. In an emergency, this band – or lane – can be cleared and locked just for FirstNet subscribers. That means only those on the FirstNet network will be able to access Band 14 spectrum, further elevating their connected experience and emergency response. Band 14 has been added on over 700 existing sites across Wisconsin.
How does this help Lewiston residents?
This new infrastructure will also help improve the overall coverage experience for AT&T wireless customers in Iron County. Residents, visitors and businesses can take advantage of the AT&T spectrum bands, as well as Band 14 when capacity is available.
What is FirstNet?
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. Shaped by the vision of Congress and the first responder community following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, FirstNet stands above commercial offerings. It is built with AT&T in public-private partnership with the FirstNet Authority – an independent agency within the federal government. The FirstNet network is providing first responders with truly dedicated coverage and capacity when they need it, including unique benefits like always-on priority and preemption, and high-quality Band 14 spectrum. These advanced capabilities enable FirstNet to help fire, EMS, and law enforcement personnel save lives and protect their communities.
What people are saying:
“We have a responsibility unlike any other network provider, and couldn’t be more pleased to support the public safety mission by bringing Iron County’s first responders – and residents – greater access to the connectivity they need.”Scott Vandersanden — President, AT&T Wisconsin
“Wisconsin’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. We have a responsibility unlike any other network provider, and couldn’t be more pleased to support the public safety mission by bringing Iron County’s first responders – and residents – greater access to the connectivity they need,” said Scott Vandersanden, President, AT&T Wisconsin.