FirstNet Brings Assistance to Tribal Lands


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The western landscape includes many sparsely populated open areas, presenting a challenge to those seeking both medical help, and simple internet and phone connectivity.  A report republished on, discusses how the First Responder Network Authority has worked to coordinate resources within Native American communities.

In anticipation of a crowd of 34,000 visitors traveling to attend their annual FireLake Fireflight Balloon Festival, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation made use of FirstNet deployables for the first time. AT&T met with Tribal Director of Emergency Management, Tim Zientek, to arrange a temporary broadband boost for the Shawnee, Oklahoma event.  Summing up his experience with FirstNet, Zientek said, “Anything and everything that was tied to the FirstNet tower or connected to it has performed flawlessly.”

In South Dakota, the Yankton Sioux Tribe Police Department worked with FirstNet during a tense search and rescue mission.  A SatCOLT was sent to the scene within hours of the request being made. Praising the combined teams’ efforts, Yankton Sioux Tribal Police Chief Chris Saunsoci said, “In situations like these, communications is critical, and time is of the essence. Knowing the mission was focused in an area with limited coverage, we requested a FirstNet SatCOLT to boost our connectivity. Communications were in place within hours of our request, helping us carry out our operation.”  Comments? Email Us.

April 18, 2019

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