The FirstNet Network Expands Across Southwest Indiana to Advance Public Safety Communications Capabilities
17 Newly Built Cell Sites On-Air; New Infrastructure Will Also Improve Connectivity for Area Residents and Visitors
Southwest Indiana’s first responders are getting a major boost in their wireless communications with the addition of new, purpose-built FirstNet cell sites and other public safety-specific network enhancements across the area. 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.
“Congress created the FirstNet Authority back in 2012, and authorized it to build, operate and maintain FirstNet, a single, nationwide broadband network in response to the communication failures that occurred during the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” said U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon. “Today, this network is working as Congress intended and public safety requires. It supports first responders – such as paramedics, law enforcement and fire – as well as the extended public safety community – think health care workers and others – who support daily operations, emergencies and disasters, including pandemics and public health emergencies.”
“With FirstNet, our officers can respond more efficiently and effectively,” said City of Evansville/Vanderburgh County Emergency Management Agency Director Cliff Weaver. “From crisis situations like natural disasters, to supporting citizen safety during large events, we are now able to better serve our community.”
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 Southwest Indiana’s 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.1
Building upon AT&T’s current and planned investments in Indiana, we’re actively extending the reach of FirstNet to give agencies large and small the reliable, unthrottled connectivity and modern communications tools they need. Currently well ahead of schedule, the FirstNet build has already brought Hoosier first responders:
- Purpose-built network enhancements – 3 new FirstNet cell sites – located in Greene, Martin and Owen counties– have launched. These sites were identified by state and public safety stakeholders as priority locations. With FirstNet, it’s about where first responders need connectivity. That’s what is driving our FirstNet build. 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 government specifically for FirstNet. AT&T has also deployed Band 14 in more than 20 communities across Indiana including Evansville, Gary, South Bend and Fort Wayne.
- Public safety-specific advanced capabilities – FirstNet is the only nationwide platform that gives first responders 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.
- Unparalleled emergency support – Indiana agencies on FirstNet also have 24/7 access to a nationwide fleet of 76 land-based and airborne deployable network assets. These portable cell sites can either be deployed for planned events or in emergencies at no additional charge. FirstNet Response Operations – led by a group of former first responders – guides the deployment of the FirstNet deployable assets based on the needs of public safety.
- Free smartphones for life for public safety agencies – We’ve also expanded the benefits of FirstNet for Indiana agencies – spanning law enforcement, fire, EMS, healthcare, hospital emergency departments, emergency management and 9-1-1 operations. Now, they can stay up-to-date with free smartphones for life at no additional cost on their FirstNet Mobile—Unlimited plans.2 This means first responders across agencies of all sizes will have affordable access to their network for decades to come.
“Indiana’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 Bill Soards, President, AT&T Indiana. “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. Working with public safety we’ve made FirstNet nimble, adaptable and ready to scale for even the most severe situations as we’re seeing currently with COVID-19.”
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 hurricanes, wildfires, floods and other natural disasters – such as when a tornado touched down near Newburgh in March. 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.
“FirstNet is a dedicated broadband platform for public safety, by public safety,” said FirstNet Authority CEO Edward Parkinson. “We worked hand-in-hand with Indiana’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 reality. We look forward to supporting Indiana first responders’ use of FirstNet to help them save lives and protect communities.”
On top of the 3 purpose-built FirstNet sites, AT&T has launched 14 other new cell sites, located in Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick counties. All 17 newly built sites will help improve the overall coverage experience for residents, visitors, businesses and first responders in the area.
For more about the value FirstNet is bringing to public safety, check out FirstNet.com.
1 Based on AT&T analysis of Ookla® Speedtest Intelligence® data median download speeds for Q2 2020. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.
2 Available only to FirstNet first responder public safety entities for Primary Agency Paid User lines of service. Requires a new FirstNet Mobile - Unlimited for Smartphone line or eligible upgrade on a two-year service agreement or AT&T installment 30-month agreement. For two-year agreement, upgrade your smartphone with a new eligible smartphone every two years at no additional cost for as long as your service plan is in effect and in good standing. Pay $.99 for eligible smartphone at purchase, credited back within three billing cycles. Upgrade requires new two-year agreement. For AT&T Installment 30-month agreement, upgrade your smartphone with a new eligible smartphone every time you satisfy your current AT&T Installment agreement and sign a new one for no additional cost for as long as your service plan is in effect and in good standing. For both plans, tax on full discount price (two-year agreement) or full retail price (AT&T Installment agreement) due at sale. Activation and other fees, taxes, charges and restrictions apply. See firstnet.com/agencyoffers for offer details.