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Minnesota Uses IoT for Public Safety, New First Responder Network

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Minnesota is set to bring modernized communications technology to its first responders. In a recent release, the state’s Governor, Mark Dayton, announced his decision to participate in a FirstNet and AT&T plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the state's public safety community. FirstNet will bring tools to help Minnesota's first responders save lives and protect communities.

“First responders across our state risk their lives every day to protect and serve the people of Minnesota,” said Dayton. “Modernizing our communications infrastructure will allow our courageous first responders to coordinate and respond more quickly, effectively, and safely, creating better outcomes for them and the communities they serve.”

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 drive innovation and create a system of modern, life-saving devices, apps and tools for first responders.

“Governor Dayton's decision to launch FirstNet in Minnesota will dramatically enhance police work across the state by giving law enforcement access to the most advanced communications capabilities available today,” said Richard Stanek, Board Member, FirstNet, who has served as the Sheriff of Hennepin County since 2007. “It will also modernize communications used by fire, EMS, and other public safety personnel, which will help all first responders maintain the safety of our neighborhoods and communities.”

The FirstNet network will transform the way Minnesota's fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel communicate and share information. Specifically, it will:

Connect 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.

Create an efficient communications experience for public safety personnel in agencies and jurisdictions across the state during severe weather events, including heavy rain and snow, tornadoes and high-velocity, straight-line winds.

Enhance and expand network coverage across Minnesota's diverse landscape, benefitting 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.  

Usher 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.

“We congratulate Governor Dayton on taking the first steps necessary to provide our state's public safety community with the cutting-edge technologies they need to protect Minnesotans,” said Paul Weirtz, president, AT&T Minnesota. “AT&T is honored to bring FirstNet to Minnesota. We are proud to already have the most wireless coverage in Minnesota. And we are excited to strengthen our network coverage across the state to provide first responders with the innovative communications tools they deserve to carry out their life-saving mission.”


Ken Briodagh is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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