What’s the news? AT&T is America’s public safety communications partner. In the nearly 5 years since we were selected by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) to build and operate FirstNet, we have moved quickly to bring more coverage, boost capacity and drive new capabilities for Maine first responders and the communities they serve – rural and urban.
First responders in more than 90 communities across Maine are using FirstNet, Built with AT&T to stay mission ready. Since launching FirstNet, we’ve tripled our coverage area in Maine. And with Band 14 deployed on hundreds of sites statewide, Maine first responders in communities such as Bangor, Portland, Scarborough, Lewiston-Auburn, and in Kennebec and Oxford counties are currently benefitting from the truly dedicated coverage and capacity it provides when they need it.
In addition, AT&T recently added new cell sites in Ellsworth, Rockland and Sanford to enhance the area’s 4G LTE coverage and help give customers faster, more reliable wireless service. These enhancements also brought Band 14 spectrum to those areas.
From 2019 to 2021, AT&T expanded coverage and improved connectivity in more communities by investing nearly $150 million in its wireless network in Maine. To further expand coverage, AT&T completed updates to over 150 recently acquired, existing cell sites across central and northern Maine in 2021. As of December 2021, AT&T is now Maine’s largest network.
Why is this important? No connection is more important than one that could help save a life. Today, FirstNet is solving for common and long-standing communications challenges that first responders face – things like interoperability, network congestion and commercial network providers slowing public safety’s data connection. It’s giving them superior coverage for day-to-day response and life-saving missions. While commercial wireless offerings remain available to public safety, FirstNet continues to grow because it offers distinct advantages from those commercial offerings. FirstNet comes with unique features, functionality and dedicated spectrum when needed for the public safety community. That’s why public safety fought for their own, separate, dedicated platform, championing the vision that led to the creation of FirstNet.
How does this help bridge the digital divide? The FirstNet network expansion is one way we are helping ensure all of public safety – and the communities they serve – have access to critical connectivity to help meet the urgent challenges of today and tomorrow. We already cover more than 99% of the U.S. population today, but FirstNet is built for all public safety. That means every first responder – career or volunteer; federal, tribal, state or local; urban, suburban or rural.
And with FirstNet, it’s about where first responders need connectivity. That’s why the build is being done with direct feedback from public safety and local stakeholders. This feedback has been instrumental in deploying Band 14 spectrum across Maine. And it’s helped to launch new purpose-built FirstNet sites, such as recent launches in Bucksport, Naples and Ogunquit. These communities are currently benefitting from this new infrastructure, which will help improve the overall coverage and network capacity experience for public safety on FirstNet and AT&T wireless customers in the area. Residents, visitors and businesses can take advantage of the AT&T commercial spectrum bands, as well as Band 14 when additional 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 (FirstNet Authority) – an independent agency within the federal government. With more than 19,500 agencies and organizations – accounting for more than 3 million connections nationwide1 – the FirstNet network is providing public safety 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, law enforcement and more save lives and protect their communities.
What people are saying:
President, AT&T Maine
“Maine’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 Maine first responders – and residents – greater access to the connectivity they need.”
Acting CEO, FirstNet Authority
“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 this new infrastructure is a prime example of how that input and feedback is becoming reality. We look forward to supporting Maine first responders’ use of FirstNet to help them save lives and protect our communities.”
Learn more about how FirstNet is transforming public safety communications — contact your local FirstNet Authority Public Safety Advisor and sign up for our discipline newsletters. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for the latest FirstNet Authority updates.
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