Northern Pennsylvania’s FirstNet Network Expands, Boosts Capabilities
FirstNet: Mobile Broadband Network for First Responders Expands Across Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier, and Clearfield County, Advances Public Safety Communications Capabilities
New Infrastructure Will Also Improve Connectivity for Residents and Visitors; Public Safety’s Network Supports COVID-19 Emergency Response
First responders across Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier and in Clearfield County are getting a major boost in their wireless communications with the addition of new, purpose-built FirstNet cell sites in the region. This new infrastructure is a part of the FirstNet network expansion taking place across the Commonwealth, bringing increased coverage, capacity and capabilities for public safety.
New FirstNet cell sites have launched in the following counties:
- Cameron: A new site in Driftwood serves the Route 120 and 555 corridors through the Driftwood area along the Bennet Branch Sinnemahoning Creek. It also serves the western parts of the Johnson Run Natural Area.
- Clearfield: A new site in Karthaus adds coverage and capacity around Quehanna Boot Camp and along the Quehanna Highway.
- McKean: A new site in new Prentisvale serves Route 346 between Duke Center and Eldred and Route 246 (Looker Mountain Trail) between Eldred and Rixford. It also serves Moody Hollow Road between Rixford and Coryville.
- Potter: This new site serves the Route 6 corridor between Coudersport and Telescope as well as the Pennsylvania State Troop F barracks, the Potter County Family Campground and parts of the Denton Hill State Park.
- Tioga: A new site in Elkland serves the borough of Elkland in Tioga County and the Route 49 corridor along the north side of the county. It also serves the Route 85 corridor north through Woods Corner in Steuben County, New York.
Other purpose-built, FirstNet sites were turned on this year in Bedford County; Huntingdon County; Lycoming County; and Sullivan County.
“For years, we’ve been advocating for better mobile broadband coverage in this region so we can better protect our residents and visitors. FirstNet and AT&T listened and are delivering this much-needed coverage. This is great news for public safety and for anyone who lives in, works in or visits Tioga County and the northern Tier,” said Chief Scott Henry, chief of police at Mansfield University and director of Mansfield University’s Public Safety Training Institute (MUPSTI). MUPSTI is a regional training center providing initial and continuing professional education for criminal justice practitioners, first responders, public safety professionals and the public.
FirstNet is the only nationwide, high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built for America’s first responders and the extended public safety community. It’s built with AT&T* in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) – an independent agency within the federal government.
That’s why AT&T has a responsibility unlike any other network provider. And unlike commercial networks, FirstNet provides real, dedicated mobile broadband when needed with always-on priority and preemption for first responders. This helps ensure Pennsylvania’s first responders connect to the critical information they need – every day and in every emergency. Plus, it’s giving first responders unthrottled access to the nation’s fastest overall network experience.1
Building upon AT&T’s current and planned investments in Pennsylvania we’re actively extending the reach of FirstNet to give agencies large and small the reliable, unthrottled connectivity and modern communications tools they need. The build out of the FirstNet platform is currently well ahead of schedule and, in addition to the purpose-built sites, already offers subscribers in Pennsylvania these benefits and more:
Public safety-specific advanced capabilities – FirstNet is the only nationwide platform that gives first responders an entire communication ecosystem of unique benefits including mission-centric devices, certified applications and always-on, 24-hours-a-day priority and preemption across voice and data.
Unparalleled emergency support – State and local agencies in Pennsylvania on FirstNet also have 24/7 access to a nationwide fleet of 76 land-based and airborne deployable network assets. These portable cell sites can either be deployed for planned events or in emergencies at no additional charge. FirstNet Response Operations – led by a group of former first responders – guides the deployment of the FirstNet deployable assets based on the needs of public safety.
Free smartphones for life for public safety agencies – AT&T also has expanded the benefits of FirstNet for state and local agencies across Pennsylvania – spanning law enforcement, fire, EMS, healthcare, hospital emergency departments, emergency management and 9-1-1 operations. Now, they can stay up-to-date with free smartphones for life at no additional cost on their FirstNet Mobile—Unlimited plans.2 This means first responders across agencies of all sizes will have affordable access to their network for decades to come.
“Pennsylvania’s first responders deserve fast, reliable and dedicated coverage across the state to help them effectively and efficiently address incidents. And with FirstNet, that’s exactly what they’re getting,” said David Kerr, president, AT&T Pennsylvania. “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. Working with public safety we’ve made FirstNet nimble, adaptable and ready to scale for even the most severe situations.”
The COVID-19 health crisis illustrates precisely why public safety fought for the creation of FirstNet. Where public safety goes, we go. We’ve answered the call for tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods and other natural disasters. But with COVID-19, it is like experiencing a perpetual emergency in every community across the country. Public safety’s network is being tested in a completely new way, and it’s hitting the mark.
“FirstNet is a dedicated broadband platform for public safety, by public safety,” said FirstNet Authority CEO Edward Parkinson. “We worked hand-in-hand with Pennsylvania’s public safety community to understand their needs for the network. And these network enhancements are a prime example of how that input and feedback is becoming reality. We look forward to supporting Pennsylvania’s first responders’ use of FirstNet to help them save lives and protect communities.”
In addition to further elevating public safety’s connected experience in support of their emergency response, this new infrastructure will also help improve the overall coverage experience for AT&T wireless customers in the area. These sites were constructed using Band 14 spectrum, as well as AT&T commercial spectrum. Band 14 is nationwide, high quality spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet. Residents, visitors and businesses in the area of these new sites can take advantage of the AT&T spectrum bands, as well as Band 14 when additional capacity is available.
AT&T recently announced other Band 14 sites across Pennsylvania, including Somerset County; Jefferson County; and several other communities across Western Pennsylvania.
AT&T also turned on multiple mobile broadband sites across the Northern Tier counties as part of its ongoing investment in Pennsylvania, including the following:
McKean: A new site in Hazel Hurst serves the Route 6 corridor between Mount Jewett and Keating Township along the Marvin Creek. A second site in Turtlepoint serves the Routes 446 and 155 corridors through the Larabee area between Turtlepoint and Eldred Township. Another site serves customers along the Route 46 corridor through the Wrights Corners area (between Rew and Farmers Valley), Baker Hollow, Brooder Hollow and the Route 1015 corridor between Wrights Corners and Rixford. It also serves the mountainous areas of Keating Township.
Tioga: Little Marsh, PA serves Route 249 through the Little Marsh area as well as Azelta and Beechwood Lake in the Tioga State Forest in Tioga County. A site in Roaring Branch covers the north/south Route 2017 corridor between Roaring Branch and Ogdensburg in Union Township as well as the Route 14 corridor along the Lycoming County border.
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 median download speeds for Q3 2020. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.
2 Available only to FirstNet first responder public safety entities for Primary Agency Paid User lines of service. Requires a new FirstNet Mobile - Unlimited for Smartphone line or eligible upgrade on a two-year service agreement or AT&T installment 30-month agreement. For two-year agreement, upgrade your smartphone with a new eligible smartphone every two years at no additional cost for as long as your service plan is in effect and in good standing. Pay $.99 for eligible smartphone at purchase, credited back within three billing cycles. Upgrade requires new two-year agreement. For AT&T Installment 30-month agreement, upgrade your smartphone with a new eligible smartphone every time you satisfy your current AT&T Installment agreement and sign a new one for no additional cost for as long as your service plan is in effect and in good standing. For both plans, tax on full discount price (two-year agreement) or full retail price (AT&T Installment agreement) due at sale. Activation and other fees, taxes, charges and restrictions apply. See firstnet.com/agencyoffers for offer details.