FirstNet Expands Coverage in Wisconsin and West Virginia

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The Red Cliff Reservation in Wisconsin will soon get a new tower to improve network coverage and capacity to service first responders, reported GCN.

“When emergencies happen, it is critical that tribal law enforcement, firefighters and paramedics have the reliable communications tools they need to keep the tribal members and surrounding community safe while also protecting visitors to tribal lands,” tribal IT Director Theron Rutyna said.

Rutyna added that the tower, where officials broke ground on May 29, will also support economic opportunity and extend access to telehealth, online learning, and overall communications during emergencies.  

The tribe has been trying to get a tower for close to 15 years as only 20 percent of the reservation has cell coverage, according to Rutyna. The new tower will allow up to five providers to co-locate, making service available to 80 percent of the reservation plus surrounding areas.

In Preston County, WV, a new cell site will upgrade first responder access to broadband communications, helping to address rural connectivity challenges, reported GCN. The new site will improve coverage for AT&T customers in the county.  AT&T also plans to build dozens of towers in the state over the next five years to improve coverage.

June 3, 2019

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