The state of New York, with outlined county borders; a cell tower.

The FirstNet Network Expands in Onondaga County to Advance Public Safety Communications Capabilities

What’s the news? Onondaga 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 added a new FirstNet purpose-built cell site in Onondaga County that serves the Town of Spafford, the Route 41 north/south corridor along the lower eastern side of Skaneateles Lake, Skaneateles Lake, Otisco Valley and the Town of Niles in Cayuga County. This new site is 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.

In addition, we’ve added a new cell site to enhance the area’s 4G LTE coverage and help give residents and first responders faster, more reliable wireless service. Our investment will help customers get the most out of their mobile devices. The new cell site serves St. Joseph’s Hospital and the inner core of the City of Syracuse.

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 real, dedicated mobile broadband when needed. 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 Empire State first responders connect to the critical information they need – every day and in every emergency.

What are the benefits to first responders? From 2017 to 2019, AT&T invested nearly $1.6 billion in its New York wireless and wired networks and 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 Onondaga County residents? This new infrastructure will also help improve the overall coverage experience for AT&T wireless customers in Onondaga County. Residents, visitors and businesses can take advantage of the AT&T 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 FirstNet Authority – an independent agency within the federal government. The FirstNet network provides the public safety community 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:

Amy Kramer
President, AT&T New York
“New York’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 Onondaga County’s first responders – as well as businesses and residents – greater access to the connectivity they need.”

Edward Parkinson
CEO, FirstNet Authority
“FirstNet is a dedicated broadband platform for public safety, by public safety. We worked hand-in-hand with the New York public safety community to understand their needs for the network. And these new sites are prime examples of how that input and feedback is becoming reality. We look forward to supporting New York’s first responders’ use of FirstNet to help them save lives and protect our communities.”

Where can I find more information? 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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