FirstNet Adds Columbia as Subscriber, Builds 2 New Sites in Virginia
Tuesday, August 27, 2019 | Comments

The city of Columbia, South Carolina, joined the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) and is the largest FirstNet deployment in South Carolina.

“We are excited to work with AT&T to provide this critical resource to our first responders in an effort to aid our public-safety measures,” said Mayor Steve Benjamin. “It is critical that our first responders can communicate every day and especially during an emergency. FirstNet will make this communication more effective than ever before. We’re looking forward to working with our partners to maximize the benefits of this innovative technology which will help make our communities safer.”

In addition, FirstNet contractor AT&T added two new sites in Virginia, one each in Fairfax and Prince William counties. The purpose-built cell sites are at the Fairfax County Courthouse and in Manassas, located near Lomond Drive and Fairmont Ave.

AT&T said the Virginia FirstNet build is being done with direct feedback from state and public-safety officials in Virginia. The sites are a part of the commonwealth’s FirstNet plan. The sites were constructed using the FirstNet band 14 spectrum, as well as other spectrum bands in the AT&T commercial spectrum portfolio. Band 14 has also been added on existing sites across Virginia.

The new sites will also help improve the overall coverage experience for AT&T wireless customers in the area, the carrier said. Residents, visitors and businesses can take advantage of the AT&T spectrum bands, as well as band 14 when additional capacity is available.

“FirstNet is a dedicated broadband network for public safety, by public safety,” said FirstNet Authority Chief Technology and Operations Officer Jeff Bratcher. “We worked hand-in-hand with Virginia’s public-safety community to understand their needs for the network. And these new cell sites are a prime example of how that input and feedback are now reality. We look forward to supporting Fairfax and Prince William County’s first responders’ use of FirstNet to help them save lives and protect communities.”

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