Beltrami County cited in DPS blog touting FirstNet

The Department of Public Safety recently recognized Beltrami County in its recent blog post touting FirstNet, a non-commercial network that allows emergency communication in even the most remote areas.

Nearly all of the state is covered by the FirstNet network through 800 sites, and it proved itself useful during the spring flooding.

Last spring, Beltrami County borrowed a MegaGo kit from DPS, which is described as a “network booster on steroids,” which resulted in connectivity about 6 to 10 times more powerful than a commercial network through the use of high-powered antennas, providing connection where no “bars” are available.

“FirstNet is the National Public Safety Broadband Network recognized by Governor Dayton in Oct. 2017. The network is there to be used, and provides benefits like priority, pre-emption, and high-powered equipment,” said Melinda Miller, DPS-ECN wireless broadband program manager.

“The damage assessments happening in Beltrami County are a demonstration of the usefulness of the network.”

The FCC estimates nearly 10,000 lives could be saved nationwide if public safety workers could reach callers one minute faster.

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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