New Hampshire’s first responders are getting a major boost in their wireless communications with the addition of new, purpose-built FirstNet cell sites since the end of last year – located in Grafton, Rockingham, Strafford, Merrimack, Cheshire and Belknap counties. This new infrastructure is a part of the FirstNet network expansion taking place across the state, bringing increased coverage, capacity and capabilities for public safety.
New Hampshire Department of Safety Commissioner Robert L. Quinn said: “Throughout New Hampshire, reliable communications is a vital part of the safety and security of our first responders and the people they serve. FirstNet/AT&T is building a communications platform that will benefit New Hampshire’s public safety first responders, but there is still work to be done. I look forward to FirstNet/AT&T’s ongoing efforts to improve communications across all of New Hampshire.”
On top of the purpose-built FirstNet sites, AT&T has also launched additional new cell sites over the past year in 8 towns, including Exeter, Bedford, Alton, Rumney, Boscawen, Concord, Bradford and Wolfeboro. AT&T also recently completed updates to more than 200 existing cell sites across New Hampshire, which will significantly expand coverage to many areas of the state. These sites provide coverage with AT&T LTE spectrum as well as Band 14 spectrum. Band 14 is nationwide, high quality spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet.
In addition to further elevating public safety’s connected experience in support of their emergency response, this new infrastructure 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.
Owen Smith, President, AT&T New Hampshire, said: “AT&T is committed to reinforcing and enhancing our New Hampshire network. These uncertain times have highlighted just how important fast, reliable communication tools are to all of us, from students and teachers to doctors and nurses to families and businesses. Through strong collaborations and by utilizing an array of innovative resources, AT&T is working to ensure New Hampshire’s first responders and residents have the best possible coverage now and in the future. Working with public safety and the Governor’s office, we’ve made FirstNet nimble, adaptable and ready to scale for even the most severe situations as we’re seeing currently with COVID-19. We are grateful to all those involved in helping bring about these important enhancements and those still to come.”
Prioritizing Public Safety Communications
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. It’s built with AT&T in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) – an independent agency within the federal government.
That’s why AT&T has a responsibility unlike any other network provider. And unlike commercial networks, FirstNet provides real, dedicated mobile broadband when needed with always-on priority and preemption for first responders. This helps ensure New Hampshire first responders connect to the critical information they need – every day and in every emergency. Plus, it’s giving first responders unthrottled access to the nation’s fastest overall network experience.
John T. Stevens, Statewide Interoperability Coordinator, New Hampshire Department of Safety, said: “Collaboration has made the FirstNet/AT&T experience in New Hampshire a promising reality. The partnership created is unparalleled as we continue to uniformly identify areas in need. We remain encouraged that the investments being made today and in the future will enhance Public Safety Communications statewide for generations to come.”
FirstNet is the only nationwide platform that gives first responders an entire communication ecosystem of unique benefits including mission-centric devices, certified applications and always-on, 24-hours-a-day priority and preemption across voice and data. This is like giving public safety communications the “lights and sirens” treatment so that they stay connected, no matter the emergency.
“FirstNet is a dedicated broadband platform for public safety, by public safety,” said FirstNet Authority CEO Edward Parkinson. “We worked hand-in-hand with New Hampshire’s public safety community to understand their needs for the network. And these network enhancements are a prime example of how that input and feedback is becoming a reality. We look forward to supporting the state’s first responders’ use of FirstNet to help them save lives and protect communities.”
The new FirstNet sites were identified by state and public safety stakeholders as priority locations. With FirstNet, it’s about where first responders need connectivity. Every day. And in every emergency. That’s what is driving our FirstNet build. These sites were constructed using Band 14 spectrum, as well as AT&T commercial spectrum. AT&T has also deployed Band 14 on more than 200 sites across New Hampshire.
FirstNet is built for all public safety. That means every first responder in New Hampshire – career or volunteer; federal, tribal, state or local; urban, suburban or rural. That’s why connecting remote parts of America is one of our top priorities. We’re also collaborating with rural network providers to help build out additional LTE coverage and extend FirstNet’s reach in rural communities.
The COVID-19 health crisis illustrates precisely why public safety fought for the creation of FirstNet. Where public safety goes, we go. We’ve answered the call for tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods and other natural disasters. But with COVID-19, it is like experiencing a perpetual emergency in every community across the country. Public safety’s network is being tested in a completely new way, and it’s hitting the mark.
For more about the value FirstNet is bringing to public safety, check out FirstNet.com.