AT&T, Inc., announced today that there are now more than 425,000 connections at more than 5,250 public safety agencies on the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) system. The number of connections is up 60% since last October.
AT&T said in a news release that it has deployed public safety Band 14 in more than 500 markets. Last year, it said, it “increased the LTE coverage area for the AT&T and FirstNet public safety communications platform by more than 50,000 square miles nationwide, covering an additional 1 million individuals.”
Chris Sambar, AT&T’s senior vice president-FirstNet, said that AT&T now covers more than 40% of its “Band 14 rural and non-rural coverage targets. That’s about a 10% jump in the FirstNet square miles covered since last October,” he added.
“The demand for data has been on a nonstop, upward trajectory for years,” said Marachel Knight, AT&T’s SVP-wireless and access engineering, construction and operations. “Our ongoing work to launch new sites and build out our LTE network is delivering increased network speeds and capacity. By the end of this year, we expect our network capacity to increase by 50% since the end of 2017 while simultaneously laying the foundation for a 5G future.”
AT&T said its three areas of focus in building the FirstNet system are connecting responders in rural and remote areas, increasing capacity in urban areas, and introducing innovated offerings.
“FirstNet is advancing quickly – both in terms of progress and adoption. It’s an incredible testament to the need first responders have for a dedicated, purpose-built network as well as the unparalleled capabilities FirstNet has already delivered. We are looking forward to the further expansion of FirstNet in the year ahead and will continue to work closely with first responders and AT&T to ensure FirstNet is being built to their specifications – coverage and capacity included,” said acting FirstNet Chief Executive Officer Ed Parkinson. “With the Band 14 buildout validated thus far, we’re pleased that more first responders in rural and urban areas have even more access to the connectivity and modern communications tools they need.”- Paul Kirby, firstname.lastname@example.org