Lte | 2021-09-15

New FirstNet Cell Site Launches near Kellogg to Support First Responders in Southeastern Minnesota

Source: FirstNet

Minnesota’s first responders are getting a major boost in their wireless communications thanks to the FirstNet network expansion currently underway by AT&T. AT&T added a new, purpose-built cell site located near Kellogg in southeastern Minnesota. This FirstNet site will provide coverage when traveling north and south along Highway 42 between Kellogg and Plainview. It will also 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.

Why is this important? FirstNet is the most important wireless network in the country because it’s serving first responders. 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 being done with direct feedback from state and public safety officials. This helps ensure Minnesota first responders connect to the critical information they need – every day and in every emergency. Other FirstNet sites already launched in Minnesota include Bagley, Blackduck, Cloquet, Echo Trail (northwest of Ely), Finlayson, Graceville, Grygla, Hovland, Isabella, Kjostad Lake, Lewiston, and Williams.

What are the benefits to first responders? Building upon AT&T’s current and planned investments in Minnesota, AT&T are 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 government 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. Band 14 has been added on more than 600 existing sites across Minnesota, including markets such as the Twin Cities, Duluth, Rochester, the Iron Range, St. Cloud and the Brainerd/Baxter area.