What’s the news? Charles County’s first responders are getting a major boost in their wireless communications thanks to the FirstNet® network expansion currently underway by AT&T*. We’ve recently added new, purpose-built cell sites located in Charles County – one in Nanjameoy and a second in Newburg on Crain Highway behind the Maryland Veterans Museum. In 2020, AT&T turned on two other purpose-built sites – one on Cobb Island Road in Newburg and another along Vera Davis Lane in Waldorf. These new 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.
The new sites were highlighted during a special event that included Karima Holmes from the First Responder Network Authority, State Senator Arthur Ellis, local government officials, first responders and officials from AT&T.
Following the formal announcement, AT&T hosted a FirstNet forum in Patriot Hall at the museum, taking a more in-depth look at the origins of FirstNet and the network’s use cases from Charles County, Calvert County and St. Mary’s County. AT&T also provided an update on its network enhancements in the County and state, and hosted a general discussion about the origins and benefits of FirstNet in Maryland and across the nation. Attendees also had a chance to check out special FirstNet equipment that could be used to augment coverage during an emergency, as well as phones, tablets and other devices that use FirstNet.
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. To ensure AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority (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. The Charles County locations were selected after consultation with state and local public safety officials prior to Maryland’s opt in to FirstNet in 2017.
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, unthrottled 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 and locked 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 Charles County’s residents, businesses and visitors? This new infrastructure will also help improve the overall coverage experience for AT&T wireless customers in Charles 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 First Responder Network Authority – an independent agency within the federal government. The FirstNet network provides public safety 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:
State Senator Arthur Ellis
Maryland State Senator
“I’m excited to hear about AT&T’s plan to bring additional cell towers to Charles County and expand coverage for my constituents living in Nanjemoy and Newburg. Reliable cell and broadband connections are more important than ever for our personal and professional needs in rural areas. I look forward to supporting the continued buildout of this critical infrastructure for Charles County.”
President, 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 Charles County’s first responders – and residents – greater access to the connectivity they need.”
Board member, FirstNet Authority
“FirstNet is a broadband network built exclusively for public safety, by public safety. We worked hand in hand with public safety across Maryland to bring coverage and capacity to ensure the network can meet their mission critical needs. These new cell sites are a result of those consultations. We are proud to deliver on our promise to public safety.”
Where can I find more information? Learn more about how AT&T is supporting Maryland here. For more about the value FirstNet is bringing to public safety, check out FirstNet.com. And go here for more FirstNet news.
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