The state of South Dakota, with outlined county borders and a star locating Yankton Sioux Reservation, South Dakota; a cell tower.

New FirstNet Cell Site Launches on Yankton Sioux Reservation to Support First Responders

What’s the news? First responders serving the Yankton Sioux Tribal communities got a major boost in their wireless communications thanks to the FirstNet network expansion currently underway by AT&T. We’ve added a new, purpose-built cell site  southwest of Wagner, S.D. on the Yankton Sioux Reservation near Marty, S.D. to give 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 new site will increase coverage and capacity for tribal first responders serving the community, as well as for first responders, residents and visitors to the Marty-area in southern Charles Mix County.

Why is this important? We consider FirstNet the most important wireless network in the country because it serves our first responders. FirstNet is for all first responders – whether rural, tribal, urban or suburban. That’s why extending the FirstNet network in rural, tribal and remote parts of America is a top priority. 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 public safety stakeholders. This helps ensure South Dakota 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 South Dakota, 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 U.S. Congress 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 local residents? This new infrastructure will help improve the overall coverage experience for AT&T wireless customers on the Yankton Sioux Reservation. The expanded coverage provided by the new cell site will improve public safety for travelers and local residents alike by increasing first responders’ ability to communicate in the event of an emergency.

The new site will also enhance wireless capabilities for visitors to the Fort Randall Casino and Hotel complex and other local businesses. Residents and visitors 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 first responders 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, EMA, law enforcement, and 9-1-1 personnel save lives and protect their communities.

What people are saying:

Chairman Robert Flying Hawk
Tribal Chairman, Yankton Sioux Tribe
“The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of broadband for online learning, the economy, public safety and health care. The new cell tower near Marty will improve connectivity for first responders on FirstNet and provide expanded mobile broadband for tribal members, businesses and visitors to the Yankton Sioux Tribe.”

Chief Chris Saunsoci
Chief of Police, Yankton Sioux Tribe
“This new site will enhance connectivity for first responders and residents on the Yankton Reservation. The site will not only support enhanced signal strength for data transfer in our police cars, but also public safety will be able to travel across the reservation and connect to voice and data on FirstNet devices, ultimately improving officer safety and benefiting communities across our tribal lands.”

Senator Mike Rounds
US Senate, South Dakota
“I applaud AT&T and the FirstNet Authority for building this new cell site near Marty, South Dakota. Public-private partnerships like this are the key to improving and expanding communications infrastructure on tribal lands across the country. This new cell site will support our first responders as they serve the Yankton Sioux tribal community.”  

Congressman Dusty Johnson
US House of Representative, South Dakota
"AT&T’s increased investment on South Dakota’s reservations will only make the community safer and more prepared to handle emergency situations. The importance of broadband was brought to the forefront throughout 2020 and expanded connectivity will benefit the tribes for generations to come.”

Cheryl Riley
President, AT&T Northern Plains States
“AT&T knows how important it is for customers to stay connected. That’s why we continue to be focused on making investments in rural and tribal communities in South Dakota and in larger cities and towns. We are boosting network reliability and capacity as we expand the network across the state to deliver much needed service to areas such as the Yankton Sioux Reservation. This will help residents and first responders to get the best possible experience over the AT&T and FirstNet networks.” 

Edward Parkinson
CEO, FirstNet Authority
“FirstNet is a dedicated broadband platform for public safety, by public safety. We worked hand-in-hand with South Dakota’s 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 South Dakota’s first responders’ use of FirstNet to help them save lives and protect our communities.”

Where can I find more information? Go here to learn more about how AT&T is supporting South Dakota.  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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