AT&T fills in rural coverage gaps with its FirstNet Build, new cell site planned for Bedford county

Via AT&T News Room

Jul 20, 2018


Site will bring Voice and Mobile broadband service for first responders, area residents

20/07/2018: AT&T plans to build a new cell site in Bedford County as part of its FirstNet build. This new site will better serve first responders in Hyndman, Pa., and the surrounding area.

FirstNet is the nationwide public safety communications platform dedicated to America’s first responders. Being built with AT&T, in public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority), FirstNet is bringing public safety a much-needed technology upgrade to help them connect to the critical information they need. Every day. And in every emergency.

“After experiencing two major emergencies last year, the residents and first responders of Bedford County know better than anyone the need for reliable communications services in a crisis. Bringing a cell site to this area is exactly what the community and public officials have asked for, and I’m pleased that the FirstNet Authority and AT&T are upholding their promise to fill in rural coverage gaps and give first responders the network resources they need to effectively and efficiently address emergency situations,” said U.S. Senator Bob Casey.

“As many of us learned firsthand during the train derailment in Hyndman last year, the ability for first responders to share information as events unfold during an emergency is vital,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “I’m pleased that we are able to announce the first new cell site in Pennsylvania as a part of the public-private partnership between the FirstNet Authority and AT&T. This new coverage will provide much-needed access to Pennsylvania’s first responders when called upon to handle emergency situations.”

This is the first new site to be publicly announced in Pennsylvania since Governor Wolf opted in to FirstNet late last year. The new site will be built in Londonderry Township, and it will serve the surrounding communities. AT&T has applied for the building permit with the township, which is an initial step in the application and approval process for any new cell site. The new site is expected to be operational in 2019.

“Working with the FirstNet Authority and AT&T on behalf of Pennsylvania’s first responder community demonstrated to me their level of commitment to public safety,” said Pennsylvania State Police Major Diane M. Stackhouse, Governor Wolf’s appointed FirstNet single point of contact for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network. “My team was tasked to ensure mobile broadband coverage was available to first responders in rural Pennsylvania where there is a clear and demonstrated need. AT&T swiftly acted on our recommendations to add the necessary infrastructure to meet the Governor’s goal.”

The FirstNet Authority and AT&T designed Pennsylvania's network solution with direct input from the state's public safety community. This included coverage for Bedford County among other rural areas across the state. The FirstNet Authority has met with Pennsylvania's officials and public safety personnel for several years to address their unique communication needs.

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

The site will be constructed with AT&T’s entire spectrum portfolio, including the FirstNet Band 14 spectrum. Band 14 is public safety’s spectrum available to FirstNet subscribers. When there is surplus capacity available, that additional capacity can be used to improve service for all AT&T wireless customers in the area.

“Pennsylvania’s first responders deserve reliable coverage across the state. And with FirstNet, that’s exactly what they’ll get,” said J. Michael Schweder, president, AT&T Mid-Atlantic. “This is an exciting start to the additional coverage and capacity we’ll be bringing to our state’s public safety community. And we look forward to giving Hyndman-area first responders and residents greater access to the connectivity they need.”

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