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Posted by Paul Weirtz on October 09, 2017.

I’d like to share some exciting and historic news with you. Gov. Mark Dayton has signed a letter accepting the FirstNet and AT&T* plan to deliver a wireless broadband network for Minnesota’s public safety community. With this decision, Minnesota joins a growing list of 25 states that have chosen to “opt in” to FirstNet and bring advanced technologies that will help first responders save lives and protect communities.

AT&T, in a public-private partnership with FirstNet, will build, operate and maintain a highly secure wireless broadband communications network for Minnesota’s public safety community at no cost to the state. The FirstNet network will deliver innovation and create an entire system of modernized devices, apps and tools for first responders.

This is one of the most economical and technologically advanced decisions Gov. Dayton will make for Minnesota’s first responders and the residents they serve. The network will transform the way Minnesota’s fire, police, EMS, emergency management and other public safety personnel communicate and share information. Specifically, FirstNet and AT&T will:

arrow1Connect first responder subscribers to the critical information they need in a highly secure manner when handling day-to-day operations, responding to emergencies, and supporting large events like championship sporting events in Minnesota.

arrow2Create an efficient communications experience for public safety personnel in agencies and jurisdictions across the state. This would help during natural disasters and severe weather events, including heavy rains and snow storms, tornadoes and high-velocity, straight-line winds.

arrow3Enhance and expand network coverage across Minnesota’s diverse landscape, benefiting first responders and residents throughout the state’s rural areas, across Minnesota’s vast plains, in wilderness areas and around its many lakes and waterways.

arrow4Usher in a new wave of dependable innovations for first responders. This will create an ever-evolving set of life-saving tools for public safety, including public safety apps, specialized devices and Internet of Things technologies. It also carries the potential for future integration with NextGen 9-1-1 networks and Smart Cities’ infrastructure.

The FirstNet solution that will be built in Minnesota was designed with direct input from the State of Minnesota and Minnesota’s public safety community to address the state’s unique communication needs. This includes extending AT&T’s industry-leading coverage to first responders in rural areas and improving coverage along Minnesota’s border with Canada.


The decision enables FirstNet and AT&T to begin creating an entirely new wireless ecosystem for public safety communications. Minnesota’s first responder subscribers will have immediate access to quality of service and priority to voice and data across the existing nationwide AT&T LTE network.

Preemption for primary users over the AT&T LTE network is expected by year-end. This means fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel will have dedicated access to the network when and where they need it — 24/7/365, like their mission.

AT&T is honored to bring FirstNet to Minnesota. We are proud to already have the most wireless coverage in Minnesota. We are excited to strengthen our network across the state through FirstNet. And we look forward to working with the public safety community and leaders statewide to create an entirely new wireless ecosystem for public safety communications.

For more information on FirstNet, please visit and For more about the value FirstNet will bring to public safety, please visit


Paul Weirtz
President — AT&T Minnesota

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Keywords: FirstNet, first responders, connectivity, safety
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