FirstNet expands across New York to advance public safety communications capabilities

September 23, 2020

by AT&T

New infrastructure will also improve connectivity for area residents and visitors; public safety’s network supports COVID-19 emergency response

New York’s first responders are getting a major boost in their wireless communications with the addition of 22 new, purpose-built FirstNet cell sites and other network enhancements. This new infrastructure is part of the FirstNet network expansion taking place across the state, bringing increased coverage, capacity and capabilities for public safety.

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 the FirstNet build.

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 FirstNet Authority – an independent agency within the federal government. That’s why AT&T has a responsibility unlike any other network provider. 

And unlike commercial networks, FirstNet provides real, dedicated mobile broadband when needed with always-on priority and preemption for first responders. This helps ensure first responders in the Empire State 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 our current and planned investments in New York we’re actively extending the reach of FirstNet to give agencies large and small the reliable, unthrottled connectivity and modern communications tools they need. Currently well ahead of schedule, the FirstNet build has already brought New York first responders:

Purpose-built network enhancements – 22 new FirstNet cell sites have launched in the following New York communities:

  • Cattaraugus County in Versailles
  • Chenango County in Greene
  • Clinton County in Ellenburg Center
  • Franklin County in Chateaugay
  • Jefferson County in Antwerp Center
  • Lewis County in Croghan
  • Madison County in Madison
  • Niagara County in Gasport
  • Oneida County in Holland Patent, Camden, Forestport and Deerfield
  • Otsego County in Mount Upton
  • Schoharie County in Esperance
  • Schuyler County in Watkins Glen
  • Seneca County in Romulus
  • St. Lawrence County in Richville, West Stockholm, Potsdam, Parishville, Madrid, and Winthrop

Public safety-specific advanced capabilities – FirstNet is the only nationwide platform that gives first responders entire communication ecosystem of 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 – New York 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 New York 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.

“New York’s first responders deserve reliable coverage across the state to help them effectively and efficiently address incidents. And with FirstNet, that’s exactly what is being delivered,” said Amy Kramer, president, AT&T New York. “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. But with COVID-19, it is like experiencing 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 New York’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 New York 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. 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. 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

“The FirstNet expansion means our communities and first responders can stay connected during emergencies”, said U.S. Representative Anthony Brindisi. “And I’m proud to work with them to bring our infrastructure into the 21st century, invest in rural Upstate communities, and strengthen our state’s economy.”

“We have long supported enhanced broadband access and new wireless communication infrastructure because they are essential to our region’s well-being and economic growth. This project is a significant win for the area because it will help our first responders carry out their mission and properly care for our communities. We’ll continue to do our part at the federal level to facilitate public-private partnerships like FirstNet that deliver new, cutting-edge technology to the people who need it most,” said U.S. Representative Tom Reed.

“Expanded FirstNet service is great news for our North Country residents, first responders and public safety interests,” said U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik. “This collaboration between the federal government and the private sector means enhanced wireless coverage that is much needed in our communities, especially for our essential first responders. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts these projects will have, and will continue to advocate for solutions like this that bring more connectivity to the North Country.”

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.

2 Available 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 for offer details.