Yankton Sioux Tribal Police Department Gets Connected with New FirstNet Cell Site

Cheryl Riley – President, AT&T Northern Plains States
June 8, 2023
Public Safety

Yankton Sioux Tribal Police Department Gets Connected with New FirstNet Cell Site

The Yankton Sioux Tribal Police Department in rural South Dakota is getting a major boost in their wireless communications. A new FirstNet®, Built with AT&T cell site is providing much-needed coverage for tribal first responders in the Greenwood Township area of the Yankton Sioux Tribal Nation.

For years, there was previously limited to no wireless coverage in the area along the Missouri River on the Yankton Sioux Tribal Nation – hampering the ability of first responders to respond to incidents in the area.

The South Dakota Public Safety Communications Council identified underserved, rural and tribal areas of the state in need of enhanced wireless coverage, when working with the FirstNet Authority and AT&T to deliver FirstNet – the only network built with and for America’s first responders.

  • This new site will provide coverage when traveling along 395th Avenue in the southeast portion of Yankton Sioux Tribal Nation overlooking the Missouri River.

For the Yankton Sioux Tribal Police Department, the new FirstNet site is a welcome relief. Since joining FirstNet in 2018, the Yankton Sioux Tribal Police Department has used a dedicated FirstNet deployable network asset, also known as a Satellite Cell on Light Truck (SatCOLT), on 2 occasions to boost FirstNet coverage and support search and rescue operations at this exact site along the Missouri River.

This new FirstNet site will provide critical wireless coverage for tribal first responders on FirstNet, giving them access to always-on, 24-hours-a-day priority and preemption across voice and data. Plus, this new infrastructure will also help residents and visitors on AT&T make calls in the area to get the help they require in an emergency.

Building out FirstNet in all 35 states where federally recognized tribes are located, including the Yankton Sioux Tribe, is one way we’ve increased coverage by more than 40% on federally recognized tribal lands in the past 2 years (2020-2022).

“This new cell tower will improve connectivity for first responders on FirstNet and provide expanded mobile broadband for tribal members, businesses and visitors to the Yankton Sioux Tribe,” said Robert Flying Hawk, Tribal Chairman of the Yankton Sioux Tribe. “This area has long needed the investment in broadband infrastructure, and I appreciate the successful collaboration between the Yankton Sioux Tribe, AT&T and the federal FirstNet Authority that made this broadband project possible.”

In addition to this site near Greenwood township, another FirstNet site launched on the Yankton Sioux Nation in 2021 near the Township of Marty.

In 2017, the federal government selected AT&T to build and maintain FirstNet. Since then, AT&T has moved quickly to bring more coverage, boost capacity and drive new capabilities for South Dakota first responders and the communities they serve – rural and urban. And now, FirstNet covers more first responders than any other network in the country.

FirstNet sites are also supporting tribal lands in South Dakota include the Lower Brule, Pine Ridge, Yankton, Cheyenne River, Lake Traverse and Standing Rock Tribal lands.

We’ve also added Band 14 on hundreds of sites across South Dakota. 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 can be cleared and locked just for FirstNet subscribers. And we continue to roll out Band 14 to help provide public safety with dedicated connectivity when needed.

Today, FirstNet is helping to connect public safety agencies and organizations in more than 100 communities across South Dakota.

We have a responsibility unlike any other network provider, and we couldn’t be more pleased to support the public safety mission by bringing first responders and residents greater access to the connectivity they need across South Dakota. AT&T is honored to work with Chairman Flying Hawk and the Yankton Sioux Tribe Police Department to bring the Greenwood site to fruition.

To learn more about FirstNet, please visit: https://www.firstnet.com/

FirstNet and the FirstNet logo are registered trademarks and service marks of the First Responder Network Authority.

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