What’s the news? Western Massachusetts first responders are getting a major boost in their wireless communications thanks to the FirstNet® network expansion currently underway by AT&T*. We’ve added new, purpose-built cell sites located in Warwick and South Egremont. These new sites are giving first responders on FirstNet – America’s public safety network – access to always-on, 24-hours-a-day priority and preemption across voice and data.
In addition, AT&T added new cell towers in Worcester, Chester and Athol to enhance the area’s 4G LTE coverage and help give customers faster, more reliable wireless service. These enhancements also bring Band 14 spectrum to the area, which is the 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. When not in use by FirstNet subscribers, AT&T customers can enjoy Band 14’s added coverage and capacity.
Why is this important? We consider FirstNet the most important wireless network in the country because it serves our 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 guided by direct feedback from state and public safety officials. This helps ensure Massachusetts first responders connect to the critical information they need – every day and in every emergency. The new cell site in Warwick will cover areas in the northern portion of the state – near the town of Orange and the New Hampshire border. The South Egremont site in the southwestern part of the state will serve Mount Washington State Forest and surrounding areas.
What are the benefits to first responders? Building upon AT&T’s current and planned investments in Massachusetts, we’re 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. In an emergency, only those on the FirstNet network will be able to access Band 14 spectrum, further elevating their connected experience and emergency response.
How does this help Western Massachusetts residents? This new infrastructure will also help improve the overall coverage experience for AT&T wireless customers in Western Massachusetts. Residents, visitors and businesses can take advantage of the AT&T spectrum bands, as well as Band 14 when capacity is available.
What is FirstNet? 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. Shaped by the vision of Congress and the first responder community following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, FirstNet stands above commercial offerings. It is built with AT&T in public-private partnership with the FirstNet Authority – an independent agency within the federal government. The FirstNet network provides public safety with truly dedicated coverage and capacity when they need it, including unique benefits like always-on priority and preemption, and high-quality Band 14 spectrum. These advanced capabilities enable FirstNet to help fire, EMS, EMA, law enforcement and 9-1-1 personnel save lives and protect their communities.
What people are saying:
President, AT&T Northern Region
“Massachusetts’ 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. We have a responsibilityunlike any other network provider, and couldn’t be more pleased to support the public safety mission by bringing Western Massachusetts first responders – and residents – greater access to the connectivity they need.”
CEO, FirstNet Authority
“FirstNet is a dedicated broadband platform for public safety, by public safety. We worked hand-in-hand with the Massachusetts public safety community to understand their needs for the network. And this new site is a prime example of how that input and feedback is becoming reality. We look forward to supporting Massachusetts first responders’ use of FirstNet to help them save lives and protect our communities.”
FirstNet and the FirstNet logo are registered trademarks and service marks of the First Responder Network Authority. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.