First responders in Fairfax and Prince William Counties are getting a major boost in their wireless communications with the addition of 2 new, purpose-built cell sites at the Fairfax County Courthouse and in Manassas – located near Lomond Drive and Fairmont Ave. These sites are part of the FirstNet network expansion, which is bringing increased coverage, capacity and capability to first responders across the region. Plus, the new sites give the counties’ first responders access to the fastest overall network experience.1
FirstNet is the nationwide, wireless communications platform dedicated to America’s first responders and public safety community. It’s being built with AT&T in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) – an independent agency within the federal government. Backed by Congress, FirstNet is designed to strengthen and modernize public safety communications, helping first responders connect to the critical information they need – every day and in every emergency.
Garrett McGuire, AT&T’s regional director for External Affairs in Virginia, announced the new sites during the Northern Virginia Elected Leaders Summit held at George Mason University’s Arlington campus.
“Virginia’s first responders deserve reliable coverage to help them effectively and efficiently address incidents. And with FirstNet, that’s exactly what they’re getting,” said McGuire. “We couldn’t be more pleased to support the public safety mission and bring the Commonwealth’s first responders – and residents – greater access to the connectivity they need.”
To ensure AT&T and the 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 in Virginia. These sites are a part of the Commonwealth’s FirstNet plan. Virginia was the first state in the nation to opt in to FirstNet in July 2017.
The sites were constructed using the FirstNet Band 14 spectrum as well as other spectrum bands in the AT&T commercial spectrum portfolio. Band 14 has also been added on existing sites across Virginia.
In addition to further elevating public safety’s connected experience in support of their emergency response, the new sites 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.
“FirstNet is a dedicated broadband network for public safety, by public safety,” said FirstNet Authority Chief Technology and Operations Officer Jeff Bratcher. “We worked hand-in-hand with Virginia’s public safety community to understand their needs for the network. And these new cell sites are a prime example of how that input and feedback are now reality. We look forward to supporting Fairfax and Prince William County’s first responders’ use of FirstNet to help them save lives and protect communities.”
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 average download speeds for Q2 2019. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.