Group of officials and first responders standing in Allegany County, Maryland. Three people are holding a ceremonial ribbon, and one man cuts it with a large pair of scissors.

FirstNet Cell Site Launches in Allegany County, Md. to Support Public Safety

What's the news? Allegany County's first responders are getting another major boost in their wireless communications thanks to the FirstNet® network expansion currently underway by AT&T.

We added a new, purpose-built cell site that boosts coverage in and around Cresaptown, south of Cumberland. Another purpose-built site was turned on in Cumberland last year, boosting coverage in the area south of I-68, along McMullen Highway and near the National Guard Facility on Brown Avenue.

In addition, AT&T turned on new sites in LaVale and Frostburg and added Band 14 spectrum to sites in Cumberland and throughout the county. 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.

This mobile broadband infrastructure was announced during a special event at Cumberland City Hall that featured local officials, business leaders from the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce, the federal First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority), local first responders, and officials from AT&T.

Juli McCoy, executive director of the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce, kicked off the event, which also featured Lori Stone, FirstNet Authority; Mayor Ray Morriss, City of Cumberland; and La Tara Harris, regional director, AT&T External Affairs; and James Pyles, Director, Allegany County Emergency Management. Officials from Gov. Hogan's regional office; U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin's office; and the state legislature also were on hand for the event.

This is the most recent purpose-built site AT&T turned on in Maryland. On July 22, AT&T announced a new purpose-built site in Cambridge, MD in Dorchester County. Learn more about the other new sites across Maryland at maryland.att.com.

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 with always-on priority and preemption for first responders. To help ensure AT&T and the 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 Maryland'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 Maryland we're actively extending the reach of FirstNet to give agencies large and small the reliable 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 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 Allegany County residents, businesses, and visitors? This new infrastructure will also help improve the overall coverage experience for AT&T wireless customers in Allegany County. 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 FirstNet Authority - an independent agency within the federal government. The FirstNet network provides the first responders with truly dedicated coverage and capacity when they need it, including 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:

Juli McCoy, Executive Director, Allegany County Chamber

'Our members, their employees, and anyone who travels to or through our county for business and leisure wants better mobile broadband access, and that's what they'll get thanks to these new sites and AT&T's other network investments. This is great news for all sectors of our county's economy.'

La Tara Harris, Regional Director, External Affairs, AT&T Maryland

'Maryland'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 the State's first responders - and residents - greater access to the connectivity they need from the mountains of Western Maryland to the state's Eastern Shore.'

Edward Parkinson

CEO, FirstNet Authority

'FirstNet is a dedicated broadband platform for public safety, by public safety. We worked hand-in-hand with the Maryland public safety community to understand their needs for the network. And this new site is a prime example of how that input and feedback is becoming reality. We look forward to supporting Maryland's first responders' use of FirstNet to help them save lives and protect our communities.'

Where can I find more information? Visit Maryland.att.com to learn more about how AT&T is supporting Maryland. For more about the value FirstNet is bringing to public safety, check out FirstNet.com. And go here for more FirstNet news.

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 TwitterFacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn for the latest FirstNet Authority updates.

For information on FirstNet products and services or to access your subscriber account, visit FirstNet.com.     

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