AT&T invests over $1 billion in Minnesota since 2010

Here’s the latest from AT&T…

AT&T Invests Nearly $375 Million Over 3-Year Period to Boost Local Networks in Minnesota


AT&T Has Invested More Than $1 Billion in Our Minnesota Networks Since 2010


MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., Sept. 6, 2018 — At AT&T[i], we’ve invested nearly $375 million in our Minnesota wireless and wired networks during 2015-2017, including more than $275 million in the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Bloomington areas. These investments boost reliability, coverage, speed and overall performance for residents and businesses. They also improve critical services that support public safety and first responders.


In 2017, AT&T made significant investments in the Twin Cities to prepare for the 2018 Big Game and beyond, including investing $40 million in our Minneapolis wireless networks and launching 5G Evolution in parts of the city. 5G Evolution offers customers a taste of the future of entertainment and connectivity on their devices.


In addition, in 2017, we made 976 network enhancements in 299 communities across Minnesota, including new cell sites, the addition of network capacity and network upgrades.


From 2010 to 2017, AT&T has invested more than $1 billion in our Minnesota networks, with our investments continuing in 2018. Expanding our network in the area has given AT&T the most wireless coverage in Minnesota.


“We are proud of the significant investments we have made in our networks across Minnesota, especially the upgrades we have made to prepare Minneapolis for the future of next generation connectivity,” said Paul Weirtz, state president, AT&T Minnesota. “The investments we’re making prepare us for the future of 5G and innovations like smarter cities, telemedicine and virtual reality.”


“For Minnesota to continue to thrive and attract new jobs and innovation, sustained investment by the private sector is crucial,” said Doug Loon, president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. “By continuing to build state-of-the-art infrastructure in our state, AT&T is not only helping to boost Minnesota’s competitiveness, but also providing residents with access to the latest technologies they want to stay connected and entertained.”


The AT&T LTE network now covers more than 400 million people in North America. Notable Minnesota network enhancements in 2017 included:

  • Launching 5G Evolution in parts of Minneapolis to provide AT&T’s latest network technology;
  • Upgrading the Distributed Antenna System (DAS) at the football stadium in Minneapolis to now offer nearly 220% more LTE capacity than at the start of the 2017 pro football season. We also added more than 800 antennas hidden throughout the stadium to help manage heavy wireless traffic and give fans strong coverage throughout game day;
  • Upgrading or installing new DAS at 16 locations throughout the Minneapolis area, including upgrading the DAS at the airport and installing a new DAS at the convention center in Minneapolis, to provide better, faster wireless coverage; and
  • Completing 178 new or enhanced cell sites in the Minneapolis area to improve coverage.


By building out our 4G LTE network, we’re laying the foundation for 5G, the next advance in network technologies. We’re boosting network speeds and capacity, as we continue to expand the availability of our network using the latest technology.


Since the formation of the FirstNet public-private partnership a little over a year ago, governors from all 50 states, 5 territories and D.C. recognized the value of FirstNet, joining in its mission to strengthen and modernize public safety’s communications capabilities.


FirstNet is a new nationwide communications platform dedicated to America’s public safety community. As we build, deploy and evolve FirstNet, we will build upon our current and planned investments in Minnesota to help ensure public safety’s network delivers the coverage and cutting-edge capabilities first responders expect – today and for decades to come.


For the 4th year in a row, AT&T earned the top spot in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE’s Most Admired Companies list in 2018. We also placed No. 49 among the 50 most admired companies across all industries.


We were ranked first or second in all 9 attributes used to compile the list, including innovation, people management, quality of management, long-term investment value, quality of products/services and global competitiveness.


To learn more about our coverage in Minnesota, or anywhere in the U.S., visit the AT&T Coverage Viewer. For updates on the AT&T wireless network, please visit the AT&T network news page.

For more information, contact:     

Mark Giga

AT&T Corporate Communications




National League of Cities releases model code for small cell equipment policies

Route Fifty reports…

The National League of Cities has released a model code that municipal leaders can consult when deploying small cell wireless infrastructure, emphasizing local needs over federal and industry interests.

Small cells form the backbone of fifth-generation wireless, or 5G, broadband service that internet providers have promised to begin rolling out in 2018.

Minnesota came up with a lot of statewide policies in 2017, in time to help smooth the path to 5G in and around US Bank stadium for the Super Bowl, but it still might helpful or at least interesting to see what the National League of Cities recommends.

Senators are asking the FCC about the validity of the broadband maps

MultiChannel reports…

There appears to be bipartisan consensus that the FCC doesn’t know its maps from a hole in the ground.

That would be the broadband coverage maps the FCC is planning to use to decide where to put more than $4.5 billion in rural broadband subsidies. 

The FCC earlier this year put out the broadband maps of areas eligible for Mobility Fund Phase II money over the next decade as part of its move to redirect wireless carrier subsidies from where private capital was already at work to, as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai put it at the time, “something far more useful: bringing 4G LTE service to rural Americans who don’t have it today.

But legislators are asking questions…

That did not seem to assuage a restless group of legislators from rural states.

Sen. Jon Tester was the most vocal in his criticisms of the maps. “They stink,” he said. 

Tester said he was not sure that the challenge process to take care of the problem was going to work. He asked whether if he gets a text to send on one side of his house, but not the other, does that constitute coverage?

“I can send texts based on where the sun is in the sky, basically. And I can get voice calls…sometime, depending on which direction I’m driving the tractor,” he said, calling out Frontier for getting subsidy money but not spending it. 

Tester said they still don’t have 1G where he lives, much less five. 

Senator Klobuchar (and others) chimed in too…

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said she would take a “Minnesota nice” way of registering the same criticism as Tester. 

Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune, a Republican from the equally rural state of South Dakota, summed it up: “I think what you guys are hearing is bipartisan concern about the maps and making sure that we are accurate and not overbuilding [or underbuilding, as Tester seemed more worried about] and that those areas that truly need the help are getting it.”


Fixed wireless project in Southeast Minnesota to start later this summer

Wallaces Farmer recently posted details on the fixed wireless happening in Southeast MN. The describe fixed wireless…

Fixed wireless broadband works in a similar fashion to cellphone communication with towers carrying a signal. Customers of fixed wireless broadband have a radio at a fixed location, maybe at home, on their farm or at a business, that communicates to an antenna on a nearby tower. Signals can be sent through a line of site to the tower approximately 5 to 7 miles depending on the strength of the radio.

And the team working on it…

Earlier this summer a unique partnership between Mabel Cooperative Telephone Co., MiEnergy Cooperative and Spring Grove Communications was announced that will bring expanded broadband access to rural residents, businesses and communities in northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota. …

With the partnership announcement, MiEnergy Cooperative is joining Mabel Cooperative Telephone Co. and Spring Grove Communications in ownership of Harmony Telephone Co. From this partnership a new company called MiBroadband will be formed.

And the importance of broadband…

“Improved broadband access in rural areas will change the dynamic and outcome of rural America,” Finstad adds. “At USDA, we are always looking for ways to create a vibrant and future-looking community that has vitality and that can compete in a global market. This partnership is creating opportunities for families like mine to be here in rural Minnesota for generations to come.”

New broadband company to serve rural southeast Minnesota

Post Bulletin reports…

Three local cooperatives announced Tuesday they will work together to create a new broadband company that will provide broadband to underserved rural areas.

According to a release, Mabel Cooperative Telephone Co., MiEnergy Cooperative and Spring Grove Communications will create a new company, MiBroadband, and will work to supply fixed, wireless broadband to areas of Southeast Minnesota and Northeast Iowa.

It also said rural areas typically are defined as having less than four subscribers, and that low density makes it more difficult to plow fiber in rural areas. While still in the early stages, the three companies announced this decision stemmed from the belief rural areas should not have hindered access to high-speed internet.

Looks like they will be open for business this fall…

MiBroadband is planned to launch in late fall/early winter, with services rolled out to the Cresco and Rushford areas first. The release said other areas will be announced at a later date.

LTD Broadband expand wireless service to Kandiyohi County

The West Central Tribune reports…

LTD Broadband recently expanded wireless service to the lakes area of Kandiyohi County with the installation of LTE equipment on water towers in Spicer, on Green Lake, in New London and a tower site by Long Lake.

The company now has 120 towers in Kandiyohi County bringing wireless internet service to rural areas that lack broadband or are underserved.

The newly installed equipment will allow internet download speeds up to 25 mbps with no data caps.

LTD Broadband uses a hybrid fiber and fixed wireless network that provides fast speeds while keeping prices low, especially for customers in remote or sparsely populated rural neighborhoods that are often difficult to serve in a cost-effective way.

“We believe that leveraging existing fiber to deliver high-speed fixed wireless is the best way to continue to expand broadband availability in rural areas,” said Corey Hauer, CEO.

Looks like it happened with the help of Representative Baker…

“This was definitely an area with a need for a better broadband option — and we didn’t have a solution until Rep. Dave Baker linked us up with Kandi Power. Quite simply, we could not have brought service to this area without their help,” Hauer said.

Letter to the Editor – AT&T is investing in northwestern Minnesota

The Crookston Times posts a letter to the editor from Paul Weirtz, state president of AT&T Minnesota…

Mobile internet coverage is always a hot topic these days, especially in northwestern Minnesota. That’s why I wanted to take an opportunity to highlight some good news AT&T has to offer residents here.

Over the last five years, AT&T has made 115 upgrades to expand our network and boost coverage and reliability in Polk County and the surrounding counties of Kittson, Marshall, Pennington, Red Lake and Rosseau. This includes 36 network upgrades in Crookston, East Grand Forks, and Thief River Falls.

Just last month, we expanded our 4G LTE wireless network in the area with upgrades to an AT&T cell site on Highway 64 west of Thief River Falls. With these enhancements, AT&T customers will experience faster, more reliable wireless service.

We know residents and businesses are doing more with their wireless devices than ever before, and our goal is to give them an effortless network experience, not only in northwestern Minnesota but throughout the state.

That’s why AT&T is committed to investing in our wireless networks across Minnesota. We invested nearly $350 million in our Minnesota networks from 2014 to 2016. In 2017, we made 976 network enhancements across 299 communities in the state, including new cell sites, network upgrades, and capacity expansions. And we are continuing to invest in our networks this year. In fact, expanding our network in Minnesota has given AT&T the most wireless coverage in the state.

Not only do these investments boost reliability, coverage and speed, they also improve critical services that support public safety and first responders.

This is important because last year, Minnesota opted in to FirstNet, accepting a plan from the FirstNet Authority and AT&T to deliver a wireless broadband platform to the state’s public safety community. We are very proud that AT&T, in a public-private partnership with the FirstNet Authority, will build, operate and maintain a highly secure wireless broadband communications platform for Minnesota’s public safety community for the next 25 years at no cost to the state. The FirstNet experience will deliver innovation and create an entire system of modernized devices, apps and tools for first responder subscribers of the service.

As a member of the Governor’s Broadband Task Force, I know full well the benefits of broadband deployment.

I’m very proud of AT&T’s commitment to investing in our networks in Minnesota, and I’m excited for what the future holds.

Paul Weirtz, state president
AT&T Minnesota