New Coverage Will Help Advance Public Safety, Improve Connectivity for Area Residents and Visitors
CARLTON, Ore, Dec. 18, 2019 – First responders in Yamhill and Washington counties are getting a major boost in their wireless communications with the launch of a FirstNet cell site. The site – located in rural Yamhill County – is part of the FirstNet network expansion taking place in Oregon, which is bringing purpose-built coverage, capacity and capability to first responders across the state. Plus, the FirstNet site will give local first responders access to the fastest overall network experience.1
FirstNet is the nationwide, wireless communications platform dedicated to America’s first responders and public safety community. Mandated by Congress, it’s designed to strengthen and modernize public safety communications, helping first responders connect to the critical information they need – every day and in every emergency. FirstNet is built with AT&T* in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) – an independent agency within the federal government.
To ensure AT&T and the FirstNet Authority are putting coverage and capacity where first responders need it most, the FirstNet build is being done with direct feedback from state and public safety officials.
Located in a top tourist destination, public safety stakeholders identified this location as a prime spot for increased network coverage and capacity to better support emergency communications. State Representative Ron Noble and the FirstNet Authority joined AT&T this morning to unveil the FirstNet cell site serving rural Yamhill and Washington counties.
“We’re excited about FirstNet delivering on the promise of expanding coverage here in Yamhill County and the addition of this new site,” said Brian Casey, Chief of Police for the Newberg-Dundee Police Department. “It will enhance our agency’s ability to communicate and collaborate with other first responders and provides us with cutting-edge technologies that help keep our communities safe."
This is the first FirstNet site to be publicly announced in Oregon following Governor Kate Brown’s decision to advance the state’s public safety broadband communications with FirstNet. The site uses Band 14 spectrum as well as AT&T commercial spectrum bands. Band 14 is nationwide, high-quality spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet. It provides public safety with a dedicated lane of connectivity when needed. Band 14 has also been added to existing sites across Oregon.
“FirstNet is a dedicated broadband network for public safety, by public safety,” said FirstNet Authority Board Member Paul R. Patrick. “We worked hand-in-hand with Oregon’s public safety community to understand their needs for the network. And this cell site is a prime example of how that input and feedback is becoming reality. We look forward to supporting local first responders’ use of FirstNet to help them save lives and protect communities.”
In addition to further elevating public safety’s connected experience in support of their emergency response, the site will also help improve the overall coverage experience for AT&T wireless customers in the area. Residents, visitors and businesses can take advantage of the AT&T spectrum bands, as well as Band 14 when additional capacity is available.
“Oregon’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,” said George Granger, president, AT&T Oregon. “We couldn’t be more pleased to support the public safety mission and bring the state’s first responders – and residents – greater access to the connectivity they need.”
This cell site isn’t the only connectivity enhancement the area’s public safety community will have access to on FirstNet. A FirstNet Satellite Cell on Light Truck (SatCOLT) was also on display during today’s unveiling. This is a large, heavy-duty portable cell site that connects via satellite – not fiber.
It’s part of the nationwide fleet of 76 dedicated deployable network assets available to FirstNet subscribers at no additional charge. Public safety agencies on FirstNet can request the equipment for added support during planned events or emergencies, like last year’s Sugar Pine/Mile fires in Prospect, Ore. The deployable network asset kept FirstNet subscribers connected to the information they needed to communicate and coordinate their response, and aid in recovery.