What’s the news?
Penobscot County first responders are getting a major boost in their wireless communications thanks to the FirstNet® network expansion currently underway by AT&T. Since the start of 2021, we’ve added new, purpose-built cell sites in Clifton and Millinocket. These sites are in addition to FirstNet sites that went on air in Bangor and Alton in 2020. Together, all of these sites are giving first responders on FirstNet – America’s public safety network – access to always-on, 24-hours-a-day priority and preemption across voice and data.
AT&T is now Maine’s largest network, with almost 500 cell towers located across the state and more planned for the coming year. Find out more information here.
Why is this important?
We consider FirstNet the most important wireless network in the country because it serves our first responders. And unlike commercial networks, FirstNet provides dedicated mobile broadband. 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 guided by direct feedback from state and public safety officials. This helps ensure Maine’s first responders connect to the critical information they need – every day and in every emergency.
What are the benefits to first responders?
Building upon AT&T’s current and planned investments in Maine, 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.
How does this help Maine residents?
This new infrastructure will also help improve the overall coverage experience for AT&T wireless customers in Clifton and Millinocket. 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 First Responder Network Authority – an independent agency within the federal government. The FirstNet network provides first responders with truly dedicated coverage and capacity when they need it, unique benefits like always-on priority and preemption, and high-quality Band 14 spectrum. These advanced capabilities enable FirstNet to help fire, EMS, EMA, law enforcement, and 9-1-1 personnel save lives and protect their communities.
What people are saying:
“The launch of these new sites reaffirms that FirstNet and AT&T remain steadfast in their mission to expand coverage and deliver a solution that meets public safety’s needs. Knowing our first responders have access to this kind of public safety network is a gamechanger. This technology brings us to a whole new level of public safety communication. And it will give better coverage to civilian customers at the same time. It’s a win-win for the people of Millinocket and around the region,” said State Senator James Dill.
“Maine’s first responders deserve reliable coverage to help them effectively and efficiently address incidents. And with FirstNet, that’s exactly what they’re getting.”Owen Smith — President, AT&T Maine
“Maine’s first responders deserve reliable coverage 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 Maine’s first responders – and residents – greater access to the connectivity they need,” said Owen Smith, AT&T Maine President.
“FirstNet is a dedicated broadband platform for public safety, by public safety. We worked hand-in-hand with the Maine public safety community to understand their needs for the network. And these new sites new site are a prime example of how that input and feedback is becoming reality. We look forward to supporting Maine’s first responders’ use of FirstNet to help them save lives and protect our communities,” said Edward Parkinson, CEO, FirstNet Authority.
Where can I find more information? Go here to learn more about how AT&T is supporting Maine. For more about the value FirstNet is bringing to public safety, check out FirstNet.com. And go here for more FirstNet news.