New FirstNet Cell Site Launches in Lake Providence to Support Public Safety and Expand Connectivity in the Area; FirstNet Authority Joins Unveiling

New Infrastructure Will Help Advance Public Safety, Improve Connectivity for Area Residents & Visitors

PRESS RELEASE

March 6, 2020

First responders in the East Carroll Parish area are getting a major boost in their wireless communications with the addition of a new, purpose-built cell site. The site – located in Lake Providence – is part of the FirstNet network expansion taking place in Louisiana, which is bringing increased coverage, capacity and capability to first responders across the state. Plus, the new FirstNet site will give area first responders access to the fastest overall network experience.1

FirstNet is the nationwide, wireless communications platform dedicated to America’s first responders and public safety community. Mandated by Congress, it’s designed to strengthen and modernize public safety communications, helping first responders connect to the critical information they need – every day and in every emergency. FirstNet is built with AT&T in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) – an independent agency within the federal government.

“These investments are essential for first responders and for businesses and residents in our community, and I am proud to work with my colleagues to create a policy environment where private industry continues to invest in our communities,” said State Senator Katrina Jackson.

To ensure AT&T and the 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.

“As we work to keep the community safe, consistent connectivity is vital, and this site will bring much needed access to first responders across the area,” said Debra Hopkins, Director of the East Carroll Communications District. “Reliable coverage in rural communities – combined with the tools and services available through FirstNet – will be a game-changer for first responders in Louisiana.”

“FirstNet is a dedicated broadband platform for public safety, by public safety,” said FirstNet Authority Board Member Brian Crawford. “We worked hand-in-hand with Louisiana’s public safety community to understand their needs for the network. And this new cell site is a prime example of how that input and feedback is becoming reality. We look forward to supporting Louisiana’s first responders’ use of FirstNet to help them save lives and protect communities.”

The site delivers Band 14 spectrum as well as AT&T commercial spectrum bands. 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.

“Louisiana’s 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,” said Sonia Perez, President AT&T Southeast States. “We couldn’t be more pleased to support the public safety mission and bring the state’s first responders – and residents – greater access to the connectivity they need.”

In addition, this new site will also improve the overall LTE coverage experience for AT&T wireless customers in the area, and combined with other network enhancements completed in 2019, it is part of the continuing effort to enhance connectivity throughout East Carroll Parish.

Residents, visitors and businesses can take advantage of the AT&T spectrum bands, as well as Band 14 when additional capacity is available.

For more about the value FirstNet is bringing to public safety, check out FirstNet.com.

1Based on AT&T analysis of Ookla® Speedtest Intelligence® data average download speeds for all quarters of 2019. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission

News Media Contact

Candice Appiakorang

(202) 510-7505 Candice.Appiakorang@FirstNet.gov

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