Ookla speed ranks MN mobile speeds 6 and MN fixed broadband speeds 39

Ookla has just released United States Median Speeds from December 2021. You can dig into the report to see which providers seem to provide the fastest service; I mostly looked at the high level.

Mobile speed rankings: Minnesota ranks 6.

Fixed Rate. Minnesota ranks 39.

Flights in and around the US are disrupted due to 5G roll out and concerns over adjacent spectrum

I think broadband is life changing. I’m also terrified to fly. So I’ve been watching the issues with American airlines and 5G roll out with one eye closed. The concern is that the 5G spectrum is very close to the spectrum that airlines use and older planes may not handle the potential interference well, as NPR reports

Rapport says the wireless carriers need more and more radio spectrum to carry more and more bits to our smartphones. The Federal Communications Commission auctioned off radio spectrum to the wireless carriers a big chunk of the “C” band of radio spectrum for about $80 billion in 2020. The segment of the spectrum in the “C” band purchased by AT&T and Verizon happens to sit right next to the frequencies used by radio altimeters in aircraft.

“The radio altimeters on our aircraft determine not only the height above the ground … as we come in for a landing or we’re taking off, but they’re tied to many other systems in our aircraft,” said Joe DePete, head of the Air Line Pilots Association, in a recent interview with Yahoo Finance.

Altimeters are critical for pilots to use during bad weather when visibility is poor. Pilots like DePete worry that strong 5G signals from cellphone towers placed close to airport runways could interfere with the radio altimeters.

“The issue is that some of the older planes and older aircraft equipment that were built maybe 30 or 40 years ago do not have very good band pass filters. They don’t have very good filters on their receivers,” says Rappaport.
It’s similar to the way that CB radios would sometimes interfere with old TV sets, before cable and digital signals, according to Rappaport.

The roll out was delayed for a week or so, and now has been modified to avoid areas near airports but that has not convinced everyone that it’s safe, as Bloomberg reports

Airlines around the world are adjusting their schedules and aircraft deployments for flights to the U.S. over fears that a 5G rollout by AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. near American airports could interfere with key safety systems.

Dubai’s Emirates said it will suspend flights to several U.S. cities, including Chicago, Newark and San Francisco, while Japan Airlines Co. and ANA Holdings Inc. said they won’t fly their 777 jets to and from the U.S. mainland after a warning from Boeing Co. about how the model’s altimeter will be affected.

AT&T and Verizon Agree to New Delay of 5G Rollout

As someone who is currently on a road trip to California with plans to fly home, I am pleased to share a recap from Benton

AT&T and Verizon agreed to delay their rollout of a new 5G service for two weeks, after the Federal Aviation Administration requested they do so in an effort to mitigate potential interference with airplane safety systems. At Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s request, “we have voluntarily agreed to one additional two-week delay,” an AT&T spokesperson said. “We know aviation safety and 5G can co-exist and we are confident further collaboration and technical assessment will allay any issues.” The sudden turn of events came as the Federal Aviation Administration was preparing to soon issue flight restrictions that US airlines worried would significantly disrupt air-travel and cargo shipments around the country. Airlines for America, which represents major passenger and cargo carriers, had planned to ask a federal court to block the 5G rollout slated for Jan 5. The trade group held off once both telecom carriers agreed to further delay their 5G rollout until Jan. 19.

To be fair my concern is more related to my fear of flying that knowing anything about the real risk of 5G.

Change in broadband provider ownership (Federated Rural) in Jackson, Cottonwood, Nobles, Martin, Murray and Brown Counties

The Worthington Globe reports

Federated Rural Electric’s Board of Directors approved the acquisition of Back 40 Wireless on Nov. 30.

Back 40 Wireless is a wireless internet company currently owned by Troy Rasmussen doing business from downtown Jackson. The transfer of ownership to Federated will take place on Dec. 31, with a formal closing on Jan. 7.

The business name will change to Federated Broadband at that time, and Back 40’s existing downtown location at 205 Second St. will close Dec. 31.

Back 40 Wireless provides rural internet service to Jackson, Cottonwood, Nobles, Martin, Murray and Brown counties in Minnesota, as well as Osceola, Dickinson and Emmet counties in Iowa.

“The new business plans include maintaining their great level of service, while expanding our services to reach the entire Federated service area and beyond if requested,” said Scott Reimer, Federated’s general manager. “Federated Broadband will operate independently from the electric utility operations, as a self-sustaining business.”

They are making plans for expansion…

“We will continue working on applying for grants and loans for deploying fiber optic internet in the future for Federated members in both counties,” said David Hansen, Federated Board president. “In fact, the Board approved hiring a consulting firm Dec. 6 to submit Federated’s application for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Reconnect grant and loan program to cover fiber broadband. This application deadline is Feb. 22.”

Federated has experience with providing internet service, as the co-op has offered Wild Blue satellite internet since 2012, which became Exede satellite service. The remaining Federated satellite customers will be offered the faster service through Federated Broadband.

Federated is a Touchstone Energy cooperative serving 6,800 members in Jackson and Martin counties.

New FirstNet Cell Sites Launch along Gunflint Trail and near Lichen Lake (Cook County MN)

Here’s the latest from AT&T. I have a few very similar posts for this afternoon but for archival reasons, I’ll post the info on each community separately…

New Infrastructure Will Help Advance Public Safety, Improve Connectivity for Area Residents and Visitors

What’s the news? First responders in northern Minnesota are getting a major boost in their wireless communications thanks to the FirstNet® network expansion currently underway by AT&T*. We’ve added two new, purpose-built cell sites – one located along the Gunflint Trail near Gunflint Lake and Magnetic Lake and another located near Lichen Lake in the Superior National Forest.

These FirstNet sites will serve those traveling in the remote wilderness of northern Minnesota. One site will provide coverage when traveling along the Gunflint Trail north of Grand Marais. The second will provide coverage when traveling along State Highway 165 near Lichen Lake north of Tofte. The sites 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.

New FirstNet Cell Site Launches in Togo (Itasca County MN)

Here’s the latest from AT&T. I have a few very similar posts for this afternoon but for archival reasons, I’ll post the info on each community separately…

New Infrastructure Will Help Advance Public Safety, Improve Connectivity for Area Residents and Visitors

What’s the news? First responders in northern Minnesota 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 Togo near George Washington State Forest in Itasca County.

This FirstNet site will provide coverage when traveling along State Highways 1 and 65 in the remote community of Togo. 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.

New FirstNet Cell Site Launches South of Faribault (Rice County MN)

Here’s the latest from AT&T. I have a few very similar posts for this afternoon but for archival reasons, I’ll post the info on each community separately…

New Infrastructure Will Help Advance Public Safety, Improve Connectivity for Area Residents and Visitors

What’s the news? First responders in southern Minnesota 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 just south of Faribault in Rice County.

This FirstNet site will provide coverage when traveling along 260th Street West, Dalton Avenue and Canby Avenue just south of Faribault between Deerfield and Medford in southern 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.

The scoop on Starlink? Depends who you ask!

It was fun to see MinnPost pick up an impromptu conversation on StarLink that happened during the Broadband conference earlier this month. Starlink is the low orbit satellite service that is in beta testing now. I’ve written about it before the MinnPost article does a nice job outlining it.

Proponents:

  • State Rep Garofalo
    “This is just another example of technology solving our problems for us,” Garofalo said. “When they’re talking about making sure that communities have access, well everyone already does have access. The infrastructure is already in place, it’s just the monthly fees.
    “Rather than subsidizing a fiber connection to a wealthy suburbanite who has a cabin in northern Minnesota, put some means testing onto some Starlink annual plans,” Garofalo said. “That way you’re going to get more people more access to broadband at a lower price.”

Concerned:

  • Economic Developer Lezlie Sauter
    One person who chimed in was Lezlie Sauter, the economic development coordinator at Pine County in east-central Minnesota. While the Legislature and some local governments have consistently funded broadband grants used on fiber in recent years, Sauter said in a later interview that some people are dismissive of her efforts to expand fiber broadband in the area with public money “because they’re like ‘Starlink will fix it all, I don’t know why we’re even talking about putting fiber in the ground.’ ”
    Starlink could be the only option for some people, but she said it’s not affordable for many while and fiber internet is reliable, fast and “almost fail proof” since it’s in the ground. Pine County residents have among the worst access to quality broadband in the state.
  • Economic Developer Michelle Marotzke
    Marotzke, from the Willmar-based Mid-Minnesota Development Commission, said Starlink poses other concerns. Problems may not be able to be fixed as easily as traditional infrastructure, where someone can call a provider like an electric cooperative and have a technician show up at their house.
    Starlink’s internet can still be slowed by inclement weather and obstacles like trees, and Marotzke said ongoing costs associated with thousands of satellites could prove to be expensive compared to fiber that requires little maintenance once it’s buried. “We have technology that is proven, that is solid,” Marotzke said. “We can literally put the shovel in the ground and get it done.”
  • Computer Science Professor Peter Peterson
    Peterson, the UMD professor, also expressed doubts about Starlink being a broad solution to internet problems long term. SpaceX has to keep launching satellites as it gains customers, raising environmental “space junk” concerns and affecting astronomy. (Starlink has previously said it hopes to launch 42,000 satellites.) Rural America also shouldn’t be forced to rely on one company, Peterson said, because if there are issues or outages that could affect a massive number of people. But if another competitor comes along, he said that would only grow the huge constellation of satellites.
  • Chair of MN Broadband Coalition Jay Trusty
    One common argument among fiber proponents is also that it can be done now, while Starlink isn’t widely available yet. “We’re already behind,” said Jay Trusty, who chairs the Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition, which includes telecom companies, counties, economic development officials and even the Mayo Clinic.
    During the pandemic, Trusty said, “we had all these kids that couldn’t access their schools, people stayed at home trying to work from home.”
    “We’ve got broadband issues that aren’t going to wait five, 10, 15 years.”

Professor Peterson concern for competition is compelling; lack of competition leaves rural residents stuck. I think that is what had folks most concerned because even those concerned about Starlink, aren’t opposed to it – in fact many have tried to sign up for it…

Despite their concerns, public officials skeptical of Starlink said it could still be a good option for many Minnesotans. Sauter, from Pine County, signed up for the service roughly eight months ago, though she said she has yet to receive equipment.

Peterson, the UMD professor, said his only option in Lakewood Township north of Duluth is brutally slow DSL. And while he hopes his area can get grant money to start a fiber cooperative as a long-term solution, for now he also applied for Starlink and is on a waiting list. “I’m signed up for it because we don’t have fiber in our neighborhood,” Peterson said.

New FirstNet Cell Site Launches in Fillmore County to Support First Responders in Southeastern Minnesota

Good news in Fillmore County from AT&T

What’s the news? First responders in southeastern Minnesota 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 Fillmore County.

This FirstNet site will provide coverage when traveling along State Highway 43 and Alpine Drive near Yucatan between Peterson and Spring Grove. 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.

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, Baudette, Blackduck, Cloquet, Echo Trail (northwest of Ely), Finlayson, Graceville, Grygla, Hovland, Isabella, Kellogg (Hwy 42), Kjostad Lake, Lewiston and Williams.

What are the benefits to first responders? Building upon AT&T’s current and planned investments in Minnesota, we’re actively extending the reach of FirstNet to give agencies large and small the reliable, unthrottled connectivity and modern communications tools they need. 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. We look at Band 14 as public safety’s VIP lane. In an emergency, this band – or lane – can be cleared and locked just for FirstNet subscribers. That means only those on the FirstNet network will be able to access Band 14 spectrum, further elevating their connected experience and emergency response. Band 14 has been added on more than 600 existing sites across Minnesota, including markets such as the Twin Cities, Duluth, Rochester, the Iron Range, St. Cloud and the Brainerd/Baxter area.

How does this help Minnesota residents? This new infrastructure will also help improve the overall coverage experience for AT&T wireless customers in the area. Residents, visitors and businesses can take advantage of the AT&T spectrum bands, as well as Band 14 when capacity is available.

What does 5G look like across the states? (Esp Minnesota)

OpenSignal reports

As U.S. carriers continue to hit new milestones in their 5G network rollouts, Opensignal has now conducted the most comprehensive analysis of smartphone users’ 5G mobile experience across the U.S. We included all 50 states and as many as 250 cities in this new study. While 5G was present to some extent everywhere, the quality of 5G experience varied significantly. Our 5G users on the East Coast generally had a better 5G experience, followed by users on the West Coast and in the Great Lakes region.

They looked at the time users spent with an active 5G connection across the 50 states varied greatly. Minnesota seems to rank well above (or at least slightly above) average:

They also looked at download speed where Minnesota did quite well with a mean download of 88.4 Mbps.

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.

Can broadband help with these wild fires? Turns out yes!

I am in St Paul and I can tell you the air is thick and air quality seems poor. My colleagues up North say it’s worse there (between storms!). So this story from Urgent Communications seems particularly apt today…

Members of the Verizon Response Team (VRT) are using a variety of solutions to deliver broadband communications to public-safety agencies battling wildfires throughout the U.S.—at no additional cost—as part of the carrier’s Verizon Frontline offering, according to a Verizon official.

Cory Davis, director of Verizon Response and public-safety operations, said the VRT has been “super busy,” responding to a total of 74 named wildfires already in what is proving to be a very active wildfire season.

“We’ve had 88 deployments across the United States, from California, Oregon, Arizona, Montana, all the way to Minnesota,” Davis said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “There’s a huge fire—the Delta Lake fire—that’s burning right now along the Canadian border. We sent a team up there to help support the operations center, working really closely with the COMLs up there.”

Apparently some states are used to this, Minnesota is listed as a newer or less frequent fire place…

“This is the first time my East team went to a large forest fire in that part of the country,” Davis said. “Places like Canada and Minnesota just generally don’t have large forest fires that often like the West does. But as things are getting warmer and the climate is changing, we’re seeing that fires are popping up everywhere—I had my team out in North Carolina at a fire about a month ago.

The goal is bringing the network closer to the emergency workers…

Firefighters often work to control and extinguish wildfires in locations where terrestrial wireless coverage is not available, so many of the VRT solutions utilize geosynchronous (GEO) satellite communications with “public-safety-grade priority” to provide backhaul, according to Davis.

“We can get an average of 30 mbps downlink and 10 mbps uplink,” he said. “Obviously, there will be bursts with more [data throughput] being available.

“The biggest thing is dealing with latency when you use satellite backhaul—anywhere between 600 and 800 milliseconds—but first responders can do a lot with 30 mbps.”

Davis said that Verizon is closely monitoring developments in the low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite arena and will consider leveraging that technology in the future. This assessment process include testing of LEO-based offerings from companies like Lynk and AST SpaceMobile, which have announced satellite LTE services that will connect directly to a smartphone, as opposed to requiring the user to deploy a satellite dish or a specialized device, he said.

In addition to traditional deployable communications solutions—from those on vehicles to offerings housed in Pelican cases that can be carried by hand to a location—VRTs are using satellite pico cells on trailers (SPOTs) to deliver broadband in a focused area to help support first-responder communications.

“Essentially, we can provide not only a 4G LTE bubble but also a Wi-Fi bubble for—and it depends on the environment—about 6,000 to 7,000 square feet. So, it’s really good for base camps,” Davis said.

“Since it is enclosed, we also have the capability to have it be like a mini operational command-center—you can fit two or three good-sized adults in there. So, you can turn it into not only an asset that deploys coverage and capacity, but it can also work as kind of a makeshift operations center for a very, very small group.”

Verizon cannot use the high-power user equipment (HPUE) that is only permitted on the 700 MHz Band 14 spectrum licensed for FirstNet, but VRTs do have some solutions that can be deployed when extra range is needed, Davis said.

AT&T deploying 5G in areas around Thief River Falls, Marshall and North Shore MN

AT&T has been busy! They have announced 5G deployment in three areas in Minnesota. I’m going to merge that announcement into one:

  1. What’s the news in Thief River Falls? AT&T’s* 5G network – the most reliable 5G network – is now live for consumers and businesses in the Thief River Falls area.
    With this deployment, consumers and businesses in Thief River Falls, Newfolden, Hallock and Roseau with a 5G-capable device and qualifying plan will now have access to AT&T’s 5G service delivered using low-band spectrum.
  2. What’s the news in North Shore and North Country areas? AT&T’s* 5G network – the most reliable 5G network – is now live for consumers and businesses in the North Shore and North Country areas.
    With this deployment, consumers and businesses in Two Harbors, Silver Creek, Silver Bay, Hovland and Ely with a 5G-capable device and qualifying plan will now have access to AT&T’s 5G service delivered using low-band spectrum.
  3. What’s the news in Marshall and Madison? AT&T’s* 5G network – the most reliable 5G network – is now live for consumers and businesses in the Marshall and Madison areas.
    With this deployment, consumers and businesses in Marshall, Madison and Tracy with a 5G-capable device and qualifying plan will now have access to AT&T’s 5G service delivered using low-band spectrum.

Why is this important? We know how important it is for our customers to stay connected. AT&T 5G offers nationwide connectivity on its low-band sub-6 spectrum, which provides broadband coverage that will ultimately offer a better wireless experience with greater capacity and faster response times for businesses and consumers. 2Committed to our Networks: From 2018-2020, AT&T invested more than $300 million in our wireless network in Minnesota. In 2020, we made nearly 2,000 network enhancements across the state, including more than 25 new cell sites, additional network capacity, network upgrades and small cells.

These investments boost reliability, coverage, speed and overall performance for residents and their businesses.

What people are saying:

“At a time when technology is proving to be even more essential for communications, AT&T customers can rest assured that our company is continuing to invest in our network and new technologies to make connection easier. We consistently work to provide better coverage for Minnesota’s communities. And we’re investing in our wireless network in Thief River Falls, northwestern Minnesota and across the state to accomplish that,” said Paul Weirtz, state president, AT&T Minnesota.

Where can I find more information?

Go here to learn more about how AT&T is supporting Minnesota. Learn more about AT&T’s 5G network at att.com/5gforyou.

Mankato getting more fiber with Consolidated and faster downloads with Spectrum

KEYC News Mankato reports news from Spectrum…

Good news for internet users in our area, two of the area’s main broadband providers are both upping internet speeds for its customers.

Spectrum increases its download speeds from 100 to 200 megabits in Mankato and surrounding areas.

And news from Consolidated…

In an effort to close the local digital divide, Consolidated Communications also brings faster speeds to its customers through its fiber rollout.

Upgrading about 5000 homes in North Mankato and Mankato to fiber optic cable from its traditional copper wire cable.

“This will enable high-speed gigabit symmetrical speeds to these customers homes and small businesses. We are seeing a drastic increase in the demand for bandwidth across the country, especially here in Southern Minnesota where we call home, Mankato is such a special we are excited to bring these faster speeds to our customers,” said Consolidated Communications Senior Director of Operations, Ryan Walker.

The rollout is part of Consolidated’s plan to upgrade more than 70% of its service to fiber optics by 2025.

AT&T Invests More than $300 Million Over Three-Year Period to Connect Local Customers in Minnesota

The latest news from AT&T…

AT&T* is proud to connect customers across the country by continuing to grow the nation’s best network 1. From 2018-2020, we expanded coverage and improved connectivity in more communities by investing more than $300 million in our wireless and wireline networks in Minnesota, including nearly $150 million in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

AT&T’s commitment to communities across the country continues and spans all layers of our network—from fiber to 5G to FirstNet®. These investments are essential to connecting our customers with their family, friends and colleagues by increasing the network’s speed, reliability, coverage and overall performance.

AT&T further improved critical communications for Minnesota’s first responders and improved public safety with FirstNet® – America’s public safety network. We also recently announced that AT&T will invest $2 billion over the next 3 years to help address the digital divide nationwide.

“From connecting family and loved ones to helping first responders during a crisis, AT&T is committed to investing in Minnesota to build state-of-the-art infrastructure that will keep people connected,” said AT&T Minnesota President Paul Weirtz. “By continuing to improve our network at the state and local levels, we are helping businesses grow in Minnesota and helping to ensure that our customers and communities stay connected throughout the country.”

More details about our wireless coverage in Minnesota, and anywhere in the U.S., can be found on the AT&T Coverage Viewer. For updates on the AT&T wireless network, please visit the AT&T network news page.

Bringing fast, reliable, secure AT&T 5G to more Americans

AT&T is unlocking the power of 5G for consumers, businesses and first responders through both AT&T 5G and AT&T 5G+:

 

  • AT&T 5G, delivered over sub-6 spectrum sets us up to offer a better wireless experience with greater capacity to enable faster responses on capable devices. AT&T offers fast, reliable and secure 5G to 240 million people in 14,000 cities and towns nationwide, including Bemidji, Brainerd, Duluth, Mankato, Minneapolis, Rochester, St. Cloud, St. Paul, Virginia and Worthington in Minnesota.
  • AT&T 5G+ is our name for 5G delivered over a millimeter wave spectrum. Its super-fast speeds make it ideal for high-traffic areas and places like stadiums, arenas, school campuses, hospitals and will help unlock unprecedented experiences in iconic destinations and key venues. AT&T 5G+ is currently available in parts of 38 cities and more than 20 venues across the country like U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

To learn more about AT&T 5G, visit our AT&T 5G site.

FirstNet: Dedicated to America’s First Responders

We are committed to improving public safety infrastructure.  As a part of that commitment, we have invested and built FirstNet in public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) – an independent agency within the federal government. 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.

  • Expanding to serve: FirstNet focuses on where first responders need connectivity. We’ve moved quickly to deliver more coverage, boost capacity and drive new capabilities for first responders. Using all AT&T LTE commercial spectrum as well as high-quality Band 14 spectrum, FirstNet covers 71 million square miles nationwide. And we’re actively extending the reach of FirstNet in Minnesota to give agencies large and small the reliable, unthrottled connectivity and modern communications tools they require.
  • First responder-centric 5G: FirstNet subscribers in parts of 38 cities and more than 20 venues now have access to AT&T 5G+. Our approach to 5G for public safety is unlike anything else. We’ve upgraded the dedicated FirstNet network core to enable 5G connectivity that is being built to intuitively optimize the experience for America’s first responders. First responders maintain voice communications with always-on priority and preemption on LTE, while the FirstNet network determines the best route for data traffic with compatible devices, whether that’s 5G+ or LTE spectrum.

The FirstNet network is providing Minnesota public safety with truly dedicated coverage and capacity when they need. These advanced capabilities enable FirstNet to help fire, EMS, and law enforcement personnel save lives and protect their communities.