MANCHESTER, NH – October 26, 2023
What’s the news? On Thursday, Governor Chris Sununu, joined Safety Commissioner Robert Quinn, AT&T* and others at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport to mark several milestones in the state’s buildout of FirstNet, the only nationwide communications network built specifically for first responders and the public safety community. The event took place in advance of National First Responders Day (October 28th), a chance to recognize members of public safety and highlight efforts to support them, such as the ongoing collaboration between the State of New Hampshire and FirstNet, Built with AT&T.
New Hampshire – FirstNet milestones announced today:
- New Hampshire State Police is connecting its officers to FirstNet, equipping first responders with the latest technological capabilities and reliable access to information in the field.
- FirstNet is now being used by first responders in more than 110 communities across New Hampshire, including those at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.
- New technology is now in use in NH – a Compact Rapid Deployable (CRD) or portable cell site generates an area of FirstNet cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. To best support the needs of public safety agencies, the CRD is designed to be easily transported and set up within minutes.
- The first five-year buildout phase of the FirstNet public safety network in New Hampshire was recently completed with the launch of a new cell site in North Hampton.
- Band 14 spectrum – nationwide, high-quality spectrum set aside by the federal government specifically for FirstNet – has been rolled out on more than 300 sites across New Hampshire. When not in use by FirstNet subscribers, AT&T customers can enjoy Band 14’s added coverage and capacity.
- In New Hampshire, AT&T has invested more than $80 million in its wireless network infrastructure (including FirstNet buildout) from 2020-2022.
Model of Public-Private Collaboration: Over the past five years, the State of New Hampshire, FirstNet and the FirstNet Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) have forged a strong public-private partnership, one that serves as a model for other states looking to bolster communications for their public safety agencies. John Stevens, the FirstNet State Point of Contact in New Hampshire, was honored with the 2022 Chief Harlin R. McEwan Award, for his dedication to public safety, symbolizing this unparallel cooperation. The Chief Harlin R. McEwen Public Safety Broadband Communications Award is the FirstNet Authority’s prestigious award, given out once annually.
Why is this important? The Derry Police Department was the first agency in New Hampshire to employ FirstNet, and the collaboration has resulted in significant public safety benefits. The largest high school in New Hampshire is located in Derry, with more than 3,400 students and 400 staff letting out at roughly the same time every day. Derry Police had experienced intermittent and dropped connectivity for all their mobile computers prior to becoming FirstNet users, especially during the late afternoon and evening commute hours.
Since becoming FirstNet subscribers, Derry PD has seen improvement with uninterrupted communication capabilities even during peak times.
This use case exemplifies the importance of public safety communications. FirstNet helps departments like Derry and others solve for common and long-standing communications challenges – 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.
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 is providing public safety with truly dedicated coverage and capacity when they need it, unique benefits like always-on priority and, for first responders, 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.
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.
What people are saying:
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu said: “Over the past five years, my office and state officials have worked to deliver and enhance state of the art, highly secure public safety communications capabilities that are second to none. Our first responders deserve nothing less. New Hampshire has the best FirstNet plan of any state in the nation, and we appreciate our partnership with AT&T to bring much-needed connectivity to areas that have struggled with wireless services for years. Together, we look ahead to putting some of these new resources into action at the State Police and elsewhere, and to further strengthening public safety communications across the state.”
New Hampshire Safety Commissioner Robert Quinn said: “I am pleased to announce today the transition of FirstNet, Built with AT&T to the communications network of interoperability experienced by the New Hampshire State Police. I wish to acknowledge both FirstNet and AT&T for their persistence that brought this opportunity to fruition. State Police today will receive by virtue of this network, uninterrupted and persistent broadband connectivity provided by FirstNet through what is described as ruthless preemption. I want to acknowledge and thank Governor Sununu for his leadership and support of the FirstNet initiative regarding public safety statewide. Next generation communications technology is an ever-changing environment and the work performed by the Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC) has been the result of this opportunity. I appreciate their efforts and I look forward to working in concert with them, along with FirstNet and AT&T to advance interoperability communications for all public safety officials throughout New Hampshire.”
MHT Airport Director Ted Kitchens said: “Our partnership with FirstNet has allowed reliable network coverage for us at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, to greatly reduce any issues with connectivity during emergencies. We are grateful to our state and local partners, as well as AT&T and our federal partners, for their hard work to afford better communication throughout the public safety community in New Hampshire.”
FirstNet Authority Executive Director and CEO Joe Wassel said: “We appreciate the leadership and the commitment demonstrated in New Hampshire during the initial buildout of FirstNet. We look forward to continuing to work hand in hand with the state's public safety community to further expand the network and meet their most pressing needs."
Derry Police Chief George Feole said: “We now enjoy 100% coverage throughout our response area 100% of the time,” said Chief Feole. “FirstNet completely solved our service interruption problems. The priority and preemption services provided by FirstNet for first responders are crucial to efficient delivery of public safety services. If you are a public safety professional, FirstNet is a must have.”
John T. Stevens, SWIC, New Hampshire Department of Safety, said: “FirstNet, AT&T, and the State of New Hampshire are supporting public safety in a way that has dynamically improved the wireless environment not only for first responders statewide, but has also significantly improved broadband services throughout the state. Adoption of FirstNet by New Hampshire public safety communities has provided dedicated Band 14 spectrum when needed. We look to the future for enhanced next generation technology and are confident that FirstNet, Built with AT&T will be the foundation of that connectivity.”
John Emra, President, AT&T Atlantic Region, said: “New Hampshire’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 New Hampshire first responders – and residents – greater access to the connectivity they need. Governor Sununu, Commissioner Quinn, John Stevens and their teams deserve great credit for forging a strong working relationship with FirstNet on behalf of their first responders. It has become an example in this region of what effective public/private partnerships can do.”
About the First Responder Network Authority
The FirstNet Authority is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Chartered in 2012, its mission is to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of the nationwide, broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities. Learn more at FirstNet.gov/mediakit and follow the FirstNet Authority (@FirstNetGov) on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
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