AT&T Gets Greenlight to Deploy Band 14 Spectrum for FirstNet Project

AT&T says FirstNet construction will span the next five years and include launches on both new and existing sites.

RESTON, Va. — AT&T (NYSE: T) has received an official task order from the First Responder Network Authority to build out FirstNet, the nationwide public safety broadband network.

The expansion order includes deployment of the Band 14 dedicated spectrum across statewide radio access networks in states and territories across the United States, according to an announcement. Band 14 spectrum in the 700 MHz range is reserved for the network and its priority users.

“We are implementing the state plans and delivering on our commitment to first responders in each state and territory,” says First Responder Network Authority CEO Mike Poth. “I want to thank all of our state and public safety partners who worked so hard with us over the last several years to ensure FirstNet will meet the needs of America’s first responders. The Network they asked for is on the way.”

As the FirstNet contractor, AT&T can implement Band 14 and give first responders access to its unique attributes, according to the March 7 announcement. The buildout will increase coverage and capacity for first responders in every state and territory, including those in rural areas.

AT&T has previously said it would construct the network over the next five years on both new and existing sites. At a 2017 Senate hearing, AT&T’s FirstNet Senior Vice President Chris Sambar said initial deployment locations will be determined based on capacity needs.

During the years-long deployment, first responders will continue to receive priority coverage on AT&T’s commercial network. AT&T said it already counts nearly 30,000 connections from more than 350 public safety agencies across 40 states participating in FirstNet. Connections include smartphones and in-vehicle modems, among other things, according to AT&T.

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