New York’s first responders are receiving a boost in their wireless communications with the addition of purpose-built cell sites and other network enhancements statewide, according to information released by the First Responder Network (FirstNet) Authority, an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The FirstNet Authority (FA) said the new infrastructure also would bring increased coverage, capacity and capabilities for public safety agencies.
The FirstNet public safety broadband wireless network supports public safety agencies’ COVID-19 disease pandemic emergency response, according to FA.
“FirstNet’s expansion means our communities and first responders can stay connected during emergencies,” said U.S. Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.). “And I’m proud to work with them to bring our infrastructure into the 21stcentury, invest in rural upstate communities and strengthen our state’s economy.”
U.S. Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) said the federal government has long supported enhanced broadband access and new wireless communication infrastructure because they are essential to the region’s well-being and economic growth. “This project is a significant win for the area because it will help our first responders carry out their mission and properly care for our communities,” he said. “We’ll continue to do our part at the federal level to facilitate public-private partnerships like FirstNet that deliver new, cutting-edge technology to the people who need it most.”
Expanded FirstNet service is great news for New York’s North Country region residents, first responders and public safety interests, according to U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.). “This collaboration between the federal government and the private sector means enhanced wireless coverage that is much needed in our communities, especially for our essential first responders,” she said.” I look forward to seeing the positive impacts these projects will have, and will continue to advocate for solutions like this that bring more connectivity to the North Country.”
FirstNet is a dedicated broadband platform for public safety, by public safety, said FirstNet Authority CEO Edward Parkinson. “We worked hand-in-hand with New York’s public safety community to understand their needs for the network,” he said. “And these network enhancements are a prime example of how that input and feedback is becoming reality. We look forward to supporting New York first responders’ use of FirstNet to help them save lives and protect communities.”
The president of AT&T New York, Amy Hines-Kramer, said that New York’s first responders deserve reliable coverage across the state to help them effectively and efficiently address incidents. “With FirstNet, that’s exactly what is being delivered,” she said. “We couldn’t be more pleased to support the public safety mission and bring the state’s first responders and residents greater access to the connectivity they need. Working with public safety we’ve made FirstNet nimble, adaptable and ready to scale for even the most severe situations as we’re seeing currently with COVID-19.”
According to the FirstNet Authority, the COVID-19 health crisis illustrates why public safety fought for the creation of the FirstNet network. “Where public safety goes, we go,” an FA news release reads. “We’ve answered the call for tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods and other natural disasters. But with COVID-19, it is like experiencing a perpetual emergency in every community across the country. Public safety’s network is being tested in a completely new way, and it’s hitting the mark.”
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. It is built with AT&T in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority), an independent agency within the federal government.
That is why AT&T has a responsibility unlike any other network provider and unlike commercial networks, FirstNet provides real, dedicated mobile broadband when needed with always-on priority and preemption for first responders. This helps ensure New York first responders connect to the critical information they need, every day and in every emergency. The network also is giving first responders unthrottled access to the nation’s fastest overall network experience.
Building upon AT&T’s current and planned investments in New York, FA is actively extending the reach of the FirstNet network to give agencies large and small the reliable, unthrottled connectivity and modern communications tools they need. Currently well ahead of schedule, the FirstNet build has already brought New York first responders:
Purpose-built network enhancements — 22 new FirstNet cell sites have been launched in the following New York communities:
· Cattaraugus County in Versailles
· Chenango County in Greene
· Clinton County in Ellenburg Center
· Franklin County in Chateaugay
· Jefferson County in Antwerp Center
· Lewis County in Croghan
· Madison County in Madison
· Niagara County in Gasport
· Oneida County in Holland Patent, Camden, Forestport and Deerfield
· Otsego County in Mount Upton
· Schoharie County in Esperance
· Schuyler County in Watkins Glen
· Seneca County in Romulus
· St. Lawrence County in Richville, West Stockholm, Potsdam, Parishville, Madrid and Winthrop
Public safety-specific advanced capabilities — FirstNet is the only nationwide platform that gives first responders entire communication ecosystem of unique benefits including mission-centric devices, certified applications and always on, 24-hours-a-day priority and preemption across voice and data. This is like giving public safety communications the “lights and sirens” treatment so that they stay connected, no matter the emergency.
Unparalleled emergency support — New York agencies on FirstNet also have continuous access to a nationwide fleet of 76 land-based and airborne deployable network assets. These portable cell sites can either be deployed for planned events or in emergencies at no additional charge. FirstNet Response Operations — led by a group of former first responders — guides the deployment of the FirstNet deployable assets based on the needs of public safety.
Free smartphones for life for public safety agencies — FA also has expanded the benefits of FirstNet for New York agencies, spanning law enforcement, fire, EMS, healthcare, hospital emergency departments, emergency management and 9-1-1 operations. Now, they can stay up-to-date with free smartphones for life at no additional cost on their FirstNet Mobile Unlimited plans. This means first responders across agencies of all sizes will have affordable access to their network for decades to come.
Source: FirstNet Authority