AT&T deployed two cell sites to support wireless service for a critical medical facility being built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to care for COVID-19 patients. The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau granted AT&T’s request to expedite environmental review of the two proposed wireless tower sites. The tower sites will also serve first responders as part of AT&T’s FirstNet public safety broadband network.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said it’s vital to keep people connected during the pandemic. “That includes those working at and, sadly, being cared for in medical facilities like this one.”
To support the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), AT&T says it quickly expanded circuit bandwidth to enable a 5x increase in remote Virtual Private Networking (VPN) capabilities among USACE as they manage these logistics. USACE is also expanding its use of FirstNet daily as its COVID-19 workload grows.
The carrier says its core network traffic is up 18 percent compared to a similar day at the end of February. That includes business, home broadband and wireless use.
As of Saturday, AT&T said its FirstNet Network had 19 portable cell sites in operation and the carrier deployed more than 42 portable assets during the COVID-19 response to boost coverage for FirstNet public safety customers.
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