Transforming Connectivity for First Responders Across Central New York

AT&T Blog Team
September 13, 2022
Public Safety


Transforming Connectivity for First Responders Across Central New York

Group and FirstNet CarOneida County, New York’s first responders are familiar with the variety of connectivity challenges that can arise when on the job.

They know how tricky it can be to get a connection working in the remote areas around the Adirondacks or in urban locations where public safety radio towers have a difficult time transmitting a signal. Even at big events like the annual Boilermaker Road Race, they’re fighting amongst the crowds for a connection.

To overcome these connectivity obstacles, FirstNet®, Built with AT&T has rolled out new, purpose-built cell sites equipped with Band 14 spectrum in Oneida County. These new sites, located in the City of Rome and by Hinkley Reservoir, are keeping our communities safe by providing a much-needed edge for first responder communications across central New York.

The Band 14 signal coupled with FirstNet’s MegaRange technology will enable the new cell site in Rome to penetrate the concrete buildings in Griffiss Park that have blocked connectivity in the past. And by Hinkley Reservoir, the stronger cell signal will help first responders stay connected in the hard-to-reach rural areas at the edge of the Adirondacks.

With this improvement in first responder connectivity, New Yorkers can breathe easier knowing their local public safety agencies are better equipped to keep their communities safe. These new FirstNet cell sites will improve safety by allowing officials to communicate easier, having more reliable access to information – both during daily operations and emergency situations.

“The FirstNet network has made Oneida County a safer place. Our partnership with AT&T has provided our first responders with fast and reliable communication that makes all the difference in serving the public and saving lives.” – Oneida County Executive Anthony J Picente, Jr.

Oneida County Executive Anthony J Picente, Jr.And these new, purpose-built cell sites give first responders access to public safety’s Band 14 spectrum – nationwide, high-quality spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet. During an emergency, this band can be locked just for FirstNet subscribers, further elevating their connected experience and emergency response.

  • The FirstNet team analyzes data traffic 24/7 to make sure first responders can get a connection first when emergencies arise at large events or crowded areas.

In addition to increased reliability and security, this prioritization is part of what makes the FirstNet network so unique. Even in places where Band 14 isn’t available, we make sure first responders are immediately put at the front of the line when the network is congested so that they can always connect to the people they need to reach. In crisis situations, when every second matters, this prioritization can make all the difference.

To make sure their first responders can benefit from prioritization and keep their communities safer, the City of Rome announced that they’ll be adopting FirstNet for all municipal and emergency services communications. As FirstNet subscribers, they will now be able to take full advantage of the new, purpose-built cell tower located in their backyard – and it’s already making an impact.

“AT&T’s FirstNet service has enhanced our public safety response operations… This service provides a constant line of communication in an emergency, and we thank AT&T and the FirstNet Authority for making this investment in the City of Rome.”Rome Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo

And first responders aren’t alone in benefiting from new cell sites. Alongside the rollout of purpose-built sites, we are also adding new sites across Oneida County to transform connectivity for all residents, businesses and visitors.

St. Luke’s Hospital, Notre Dame Junior and Senior High School and Griffiss International Airport are just a few of the areas that will see a boost to their wireless service. Area first responders will now be able to talk and text with each other quicker than they could before. And these upgrades will also enhance connectivity for residents and visitors – whether it’s a student doing homework, a healthcare worker calling a patient or someone who just flew in for the weekend.

The bottom line: First responders are committed to keeping our communities safe, and we are committed to helping them fulfill that mission. Through the addition of new cell sites, including FirstNet, purpose-built cell sites, we are transforming connectivity in Oneida County for first responders – whether they’re on the job at the Boilermaker Road Race or off duty hiking at the base of the Adirondacks.