New FirstNet Cell Site Launches in the Kabetogama State Forest to Support First Responders in Northern MN

AT&T is making announcements of more deployments – again

What’s the news?

Northern Minnesota’s first responders are getting a major boost in their wireless communications thanks to the FirstNet® network expansion currently underway by AT&T. We’ve added a new, purpose-built cell site located in the Kabetogama State Forest near Kjostad Lake about an hour north of Virginia.

This FirstNet site will provide coverage when traveling along Orr Buyck Road and Crane Lake Road, located in the remote wilderness of northern Minnesota. It will also give first responders on FirstNet – America’s public safety network – access to always-on, 24-hours-a-day priority and preemption across voice and data.

This is the second FirstNet site to launch in this part of northern Minnesota this summer. In May, we added a new, purpose-built cell site located on the Echo Trail northwest of Ely near Meander Lake and Lake Jeannette State Forest – one of the first primarily powered by solar in the Midwest region. This site along the Echo Trail has already provided coverage to first responders who battled the Bezhik wildfire just a few miles south of the tower.

Why is this important?

We look at FirstNet as the most important wireless network in the country because it’s serving our first responders. And unlike commercial networks, FirstNet provides dedicated mobile broadband. To ensure AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) are putting coverage and capacity where first responders need it most, the FirstNet build is being done with direct feedback from state and public safety officials. This helps ensure Minnesota first responders connect to the critical information they need – every day and in every emergency. Other FirstNet sites already launched in Minnesota include Bagley, Blackduck, Cloquet, Echo Trail (northwest of Ely), Finlayson, Graceville, Grygla, Hovland, Isabella, Kellogg (Hwy 42), Lewiston, and Williams.

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