According to the press release…
Governor Mark Dayton today approved a plan to modernize Minnesota’s communications infrastructure, to better connect and serve first responders across the state. The plan, developed by AT&T under the federal FirstNet effort, will build modern communications infrastructure to power a high-speed, wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety, at no cost to Minnesota taxpayers.
“First responders across our state risk their lives every day to protect and serve the people of Minnesota,” said Governor Dayton. “Modernizing our communications infrastructure will allow our courageous first responders to coordinate and respond more quickly, effectively, and safely, creating better outcomes for them and the communities they serve.”
Modernizing Minnesota’s communications network for first responders will make response and coordination more efficient and secure across the state. The new infrastructure will help expand critical communication coverage to currently underserved areas of Greater Minnesota. The modernization will also help agencies coordinate in response to major public safety events, such as the upcoming 2018 Super Bowl.
“The workgroups devoted numerous hours to ensure the dedicated wireless broadband network offered the tools needed for those on the front lines of an emergency,” said Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman. “FirstNet promises to change the way Minnesota’s public safety personnel, in every corner of the state, do their jobs.
In a letter to FirstNet CEO Mike Poth, Governor Dayton stressed the importance of FirstNet consulting with the 11 Federally Recognized Minnesota tribes as sovereign nations, to determine whether building out the public safety communications network on their land would be beneficial to their citizens. Once built, agencies across Minnesota will have the option to opt-in and subscribe to FirstNet service.
Congress created the First Responder Network Authority (“FirstNet”) in 2012. It provided for a section of prime radio spectrum and $7 billion to entice a partner to take on the responsibility of managing a network for public safety. AT&T answered the call, and will provide more than 100MB of spectrum capacity and strong cybersecurity defenses on the network.
To learn more about how FirstNet will help Minnesota first responders, click here.