RESTON, Va., Dec. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- North Dakota is modernizing communications technology for its first responders. Today, Governor Doug Burgum announced his decision to accept the First Responder Network Authority* and AT&T** plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the state's public safety community. FirstNet will bring advanced tools that will help North Dakota's first responders save lives and protect communities.
"First responders need access to the latest communications technologies to do their jobs most effectively, and events like the Dakota Access Pipeline protests demonstrated the important need for a common system to enable communication between and among first responders," Gov. Burgum said. "We're pleased to join FirstNet as another step toward improving our connectivity to help enhance the safety of our first responders and all of our citizens."
AT&T, in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority, will build, operate and maintain a highly secure wireless broadband communications network for North Dakota's public safety community at no cost to the state. The FirstNet network will drive innovation and create an entire system of modernized devices, apps and tools for first responders.
FirstNet will transform the way North Dakota's fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel communicate and share information. Specifically, it will:
- Connect first responder subscribers to the critical information they need in a highly secure manner when handling day-to-day operations, responding to emergencies and supporting large events like the North Dakota State Fair that attracts almost 300,000 visitors annually.
- Create an efficient communications experience for public safety personnel in agencies and jurisdictions across the state during natural disasters, such as severe winter weather, wildfires and flooding.
- Enhance and expand network coverage across North Dakota's diverse landscape, benefitting first responders and residents throughout the state's rural and tribal areas.
- Provide first responders with access to dedicated network assets that can be deployed for additional coverage and support when needed.
- Drive infrastructure investments and create jobs across the state.
- Usher in a new wave of dependable innovations for first responders. This will create an ever-evolving set of life-saving tools for public safety, including public safety apps, specialized devices and Internet of Things technologies. It also carries the potential for future integration with NextGen 911 networks and Smart Cities' infrastructure.
The First Responder Network Authority and AT&T designed North Dakota's network solution with direct input from the state and its public safety community. This helped to address the state's unique communications needs, including:
- Expanding coverage in rural areas and making deployable network assets available during emergency situations.
- Offering feature-rich services at competitive prices.
- Recognizing the critical nature of the public safety mission when it comes to customer care and support.
"Governor Burgum's decision will enhance public safety communications throughout the state's rural and remote areas, including federal and tribal lands," said First Responder Network Authority CEO Mike Poth. "FirstNet is pleased to have delivered a dynamic and modernized network solution that meets North Dakota's unique needs, and we look forward to our continued partnership with the Peace Garden State."
The decision enables the First Responder Network Authority and AT&T to begin offering an entirely new wireless ecosystem for public safety communications. North Dakota's first responder subscribers will have immediate access to quality of service, priority and preemption to voice and data across the FirstNet network.
By opting in to FirstNet, fire, police, EMS and other public safety workers subscribing to the service will have dedicated access to the information they need, when and where they need it – 24/7/365, like their mission.
"Public safety in North Dakota will now have access to the game-changing communications FirstNet is delivering to first responders," said Cheryl Riley, president, AT&T North Dakota. "It's been a pleasure to work with Governor Burgum and his staff, and we're honored to help support the public safety mission here in North Dakota."
*About The First Responder Network Authority
The First Responder Network Authority FirstNet is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Chartered in 2012, its mission is to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of the nationwide, broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities. Learn more at FirstNet.gov/mediakit and follow the First Responder Network Authority (@FirstNetGov) on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
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SOURCE AT&T Inc.