FirstNet Investing in Indian Country

By Margaret Gutierrez, National Tribal Government Liaison (Regions I-VIII)

As of August 2019, more than 750,000 device connections are being used by nearly 9,000 public safety agencies. As the number of users grows, so too does the network. There have been major investments in network buildout nationwide, including rural and tribal areas.

One such tribe is the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Red Cliff), which became the first in the nation to participate in an in-depth government-to-government consultation process with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority). Red Cliff then became the first tribal nation to sign an agreement with our network provider, AT&T, to build a FirstNet tower on tribal lands. In May, Red Cliff announced the groundbreaking of a new, purpose-built cell site for the Red Cliff Reservation in Wisconsin to be built in the next year. The new site will significantly increase coverage and capacity in the region and bring new capabilities like priority and preemption to the tribe’s public safety community.

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