What’s the news? FirstNet, Built with AT&T is bringing end-to-end wireless coverage to Glenwood Canyon, allowing public safety, residents and local travelers to stay connected. A network of cell sites, which recently provided temporary emergency communications for first responders during mudslide recovery efforts, have now launched as a permanent wireless solution through most of the canyon.
Why is this important? This is the first connectivity of its kind within Glenwood Canyon, a critical transportation corridor that connects the Western Slope of Colorado to the Front Range. The need for communications infrastructure along this artery is crucial, as witnessed last month when multiple large mudslides swept through parts of the canyon closing I-70, trapping motorists and destroying most everything in their path.
As public safety's communications partner, the FirstNet team at AT&T quickly deployed dedicated portable emergency equipment to bring wireless coverage to first responders on the scene.
After years of construction and coordination with federal, state, local and private agencies, the sites provide essential communication for first responders and those who travel through the canyon.
"Wireless connectivity in Glenwood Canyon is a significant milestone that will support our brave first responders, improve public safety, and boost local economies," said U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper
"Finally cell service is coming to Glenwood Canyon," said Governor Jared Polis. "No one likes dead zones and I'm so excited that a major one that frustrates so many drivers including me is now fixed. Wireless communications provided invaluable service to first responders and recovery workers as they focused on reopening I-70 this summer. This investment will impact lives for those who travel through and spend time in Glenwood Canyon."
"We are thrilled to deploy a solution that provides connectivity through this critical transportation corridor," said Roberta Robinette, President, AT&T Colorado. "Considered by some to be the crown jewel of the interstate highway system, the Canyon presents several engineering challenges - for transportation and communications alike. Public safety, visitors and local travelers can now stay connected, including our FirstNet subscribers as they coordinate activities in times of crisis."
"This new infrastructure delivers reliable coverage and high-speed broadband to the State of Colorado and its public safety community," said Edward Parkinson, CEO of the First Responder Network Authority. "We worked closely with leaders in the state to map out a plan for FirstNet, and wireless coverage in Glenwood Canyon was identified as a critical need for public safety. FirstNet will equip the state's first responders with communication tools they need to serve and protect those traveling through the canyon."
"The recent mudslides and the motorists trapped by them demonstrated how important emergency connectivity is," said U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert. "The new cell coverage on I-70 is a big win for first responders, travelers, and local communities. This wasn't the first and it won't be the last disaster affecting I-70, and I'm working with local and regional officials to strengthen I-70's resiliency and improve alternative routes."
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 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. Band 14 is like public safety's VIP lane. In an emergency, it can be cleared and locked for FirstNet subscribers, further elevating public safety's connected experience and emergency response.
These advanced capabilities enable FirstNet to help fire, EMS, EMA, law enforcement, and 9-1-1 personnel save lives and protect their communities.
Where can I find more information? Go here to learn more about how AT&T is supporting Colorado. 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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