Mobile internet coverage is always a hot topic these days, especially in northwestern Minnesota. That’s why I wanted to take an opportunity to highlight some good news AT&T has to offer residents here.
Over the last five years, AT&T has made 115 upgrades to expand our network and boost coverage and reliability in Polk County and the surrounding counties of Kittson, Marshall, Pennington, Red Lake and Rosseau. This includes 36 network upgrades in Crookston, East Grand Forks, and Thief River Falls.
Just last month, we expanded our 4G LTE wireless network in the area with upgrades to an AT&T cell site on Highway 64 west of Thief River Falls. With these enhancements, AT&T customers will experience faster, more reliable wireless service.
We know residents and businesses are doing more with their wireless devices than ever before, and our goal is to give them an effortless network experience, not only in northwestern Minnesota but throughout the state.
That’s why AT&T is committed to investing in our wireless networks across Minnesota. We invested nearly $350 million in our Minnesota networks from 2014 to 2016. In 2017, we made 976 network enhancements across 299 communities in the state, including new cell sites, network upgrades, and capacity expansions. And we are continuing to invest in our networks this year. In fact, expanding our network in Minnesota has given AT&T the most wireless coverage in the state.
Not only do these investments boost reliability, coverage and speed, they also improve critical services that support public safety and first responders.
This is important because last year, Minnesota opted in to FirstNet, accepting a plan from the FirstNet Authority and AT&T to deliver a wireless broadband platform to the state’s public safety community. We are very proud that AT&T, in a public-private partnership with the FirstNet Authority, will build, operate and maintain a highly secure wireless broadband communications platform for Minnesota’s public safety community for the next 25 years at no cost to the state. The FirstNet experience will deliver innovation and create an entire system of modernized devices, apps and tools for first responder subscribers of the service.
As a member of the Governor’s Broadband Task Force, I know full well the benefits of broadband deployment.
I’m very proud of AT&T’s commitment to investing in our networks in Minnesota, and I’m excited for what the future holds.
Paul Weirtz, state president