You may have noticed a few tall, silver towers going up here and there in Williston and Williams County lately. Although they resemble electric poles put up by Basin Electric a few years ago for a new transmission line, the Williston Herald has confirmed these are actually AT&T towers to improve network reliability and capacity in the region.

The company has either completed or is in the process of completing more than new 30 towers for Williams County, including Williston and surrounding areas.

“AT&T knows how important it is for customers across Williams County to stay connected,” AT&T Northern Plains States President Cheryl Riley, told the Williston Herald in an email. “That’s why we continue to be focused on making investments in North Dakota. We are boosting network reliability and capacity as we expand the wireless network in the Williston-area and across the state. This will help residents and first responders to get the best possible experience over the AT&T and FirstNet networks.”

The towers, in addition to improving cell phone service for the general public, will also offer a major boost in wireless communications for first responders, Riley added. They are being placed to cover locations identified by first responders as needing improved coverage the most.

The new towers will offer the high-quality spectrum known as Band 14, which has been set aside by the federal government specifically for FirstNet, America’s public safety network.

FirstNet is the nation’s only communications network providing truly dedicated coverage and capacity to first responders when and where they need it. The system was built with AT&T in public-private partnership with the federal government.

More than 16,000 public safety agencies and organizations are subscribed to it, accounting for more than 2.2 million connections nationwide in a 2.71 million square-mile area, representing more than 99 percent of Americans today.

North Dakota agencies on FirstNet also have 24/7 access to a nationwide fleet of more than 80-plus land-based and airborne deployable network assets. These portable cell sites are available for planned events or emergencies at no additional charge.

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