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AT&T Inc.

09/23/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/23/2020 15:56

Mississippi’s FirstNet Network Expands, Boosts Capabilities

The FirstNet Network Expands Across Mississippi to Advance Public Safety Communications Capabilities

New Infrastructure Will Also Improve Connectivity for Area Residents and Visitors; Public Safety's Network Supports COVID-19 Emergency Response

Mississippi's first responders are getting a major boost in their wireless communications with the addition of new, purpose-built FirstNet cell sites as well as the addition of Band-14 to more than 400 sites across the state. This new infrastructure is a part of the FirstNet network expansion that is bringing increased coverage, capacity, and capabilities for public safety.

'Mississippi's FirstNet team has gone above and beyond for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency to ensure that our system remains operable during the most crucial of times. Partners like them keep Mississippians connected in crisis,' said Bob Buseck, Chief Information Officer, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

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.

Unlike commercial networks, FirstNet provides real, dedicated mobile broadband when needed with always-on priority and preemption for first responders. This helps ensure Mississippi'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 ongoing investments in Mississippi, we're actively extending the reach of FirstNet to give both large and small agencies the reliable, unthrottled connectivity and modern communications tools they need. Currently well ahead of schedule, the FirstNet build has already brought Mississippi's first responders:

  • Purpose-built network enhancements - Connectivity at multiple new sites across the state. These sites were identified by state and public safety stakeholders as priority locations. With FirstNet, it's about where first responders need connectivity. That's what is driving our FirstNet build. 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. AT&T also deployed Band 14 at more than 400 existing locations across the state.
  • Public safety-specific advanced capabilities - FirstNet is the only nationwide platform that gives first responders an entire communication ecosystem with unique benefits including mission-centric devices, certified applications and always-on, 24-hours-a-day priority and preemption across voice and data. This is like giving public safety communications the 'lights and sirens' treatment so that they stay connected, no matter the emergency.
  • Unparalleled emergency support - Mississippi agencies 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 - We've also expanded the benefits of FirstNet for Mississippi agencies - 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.

'Mississippi's first responders deserve reliable coverage across the state to help them effectively and efficiently address incidents, and with FirstNet, that's exactly what they're getting,' said Mayo Flynt, president of AT&T Mississippi. '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 as we're seeing currently with COVID-19.'

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.

COVID-19 has presented 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 Mississippi'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 Mississippi 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. Residents, visitors and businesses can take advantage of the AT&T spectrum bands, as well as Band 14 when additional capacity is available.

For more about the value FirstNet is bringing to public safety, check out FirstNet.com.

1 Based on AT&T analysis of Ookla® Speedtest Intelligence® data median download speeds for Q2 2020. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.

2Available 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.

About the First Responder Network Authority

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Chartered in 2012, its mission is to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of the nationwide, broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities. Learn more at FirstNet.gov/mediakit and follow the FirstNet Authority (@FirstNetGov) on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

*About AT&T Communications

We help family, friends and neighbors connect in meaningful ways every day. From the first phone call 140+ years ago to mobile video streaming, we innovate to improve lives. We have the nation's fastest wireless network.** And according to America's biggest test, we have the nation's best wireless network.*** We're building FirstNet® just for first responders and creating next-generation mobile 5G. With a range of TV and video products, we deliver entertainment people love to talk about. Our smart, highly secure solutions serve nearly 3 million global businesses - nearly all of the Fortune 1000. And worldwide, our spirit of service drives employees to give back to their communities.

AT&T Communications is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). Learn more at att.com/CommunicationsNews.

AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc. Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at about.att.com. Follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at facebook.com/att and on YouTube at youtube.com/att.

© 2020 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the Globe logo and other marks are trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. FirstNet and the FirstNet logo are registered trademarks and service marks of the First Responder Network Authority. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

**Based on analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data median download speeds for Q2 2020. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.

***GWS OneScore, September 2020.

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