The FirstNet Network Expands Across Texas to Advance Public Safety Communications Capabilities

New Infrastructure Will Help Advance Public Safety, Improve Connectivity for Area Residents, Businesses and Visitors
What’s the news?

Texas’ 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 and other network enhancements across the state. Val Verde, Matagorda, Maverick and Williamson counties now have newly launched purpose-built FirstNet cell sites. 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.

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 when and where needed. 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 Texas first responders connect to the critical information they need – every day and in every emergency.

What are the benefits to first responders?

Building upon AT&T’s current and planned investments in Texas, 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. 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.

Plus, we’re bringing 5G connectivity to FirstNet in a way that meets public safety’s unique mission needs. First responders in parts of Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Waco now have access to AT&T mmWave (5G+) spectrum. They will maintain voice communication through always-on priority and preemption on LTE and the intuitive FirstNet network will determine the best route for data traffic with 5G-compatible devices, whether that’s 5G+ or LTE.

How does this help Texas residents?

This new infrastructure will also help improve the overall coverage experience for AT&T wireless customers in Texas. 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 first responders 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:

“Reliable network coverage is critical for our first responders to ensure they can effectively and efficiently serve their local communities.

Leslie Ward — President, AT&T Texas

“Reliable network coverage is critical for our first responders to ensure they can effectively and efficiently serve their local communities. FirstNet provides exactly that, and AT&T is pleased to support our first responders and their public safety mission with the connectivity they need to get the job done,” said Leslie Ward, President, AT&T Texas.

“FirstNet is a dedicated broadband platform for public safety, by public safety. We worked hand-in-hand with the Texas public safety communities to understand their needs for the network. And these new sites are prime examples of how that input and feedback are becoming reality. We look forward to supporting Texas first responders’ use of FirstNet to help them save lives and protect our communities," said Edward Parkinson, CEO, FirstNet Authority.

Where can I find more information? Go here to learn more about how AT&T is supporting Texas. For more about the value FirstNet is bringing to public safety, check out FirstNet.com. And go here for more FirstNet news. 

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