Mayor Steve Benjamin Announces New Communications Technology for First Responders

By August 19, 2019 Press Releases

On behalf of City of Columbia Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin’s Office:

Contact: Taylor Wright, Office of the Mayor | [email protected] | 803-719-0036

COLUMBIA, S.C. (August 19, 2019) – The City of Columbia has joined forces with the world’s largest telecommunications company, AT&T, to deploy the public safety communications platform FirstNet. The effort is the largest FirstNet deployment in South Carolina.

Mayor Benjamin and Columbia Fire Department and Police Department officials joined Terrence Ford, Director of Legislative Affairs for AT&T South Carolina, earlier today at a press conference to announce the new technology.

Columbia Police Department’s Deputy Chief Melron Kelly speaking about FirstNet capabilities

“We are excited to work with AT&T to provide this critical resource to our first responders in an effort to aid our public safety measures,” said Mayor Steve Benjamin. “It is critical that our first responders can communicate every day and especially during an emergency. FirstNet will make this communication more effective than ever before. We’re looking forward to working with our partners to maximize the benefits of this innovative technology which will help make our communities safer.”

FirstNet is a nationwide, public safety broadband platform dedicated to America’s first responders. Backed by Congress, it is designed to strengthen and modernize public safety communications, helping first responders access critical information during emergencies. FirstNet is being built by AT&T in a public-private partnership with the FirstNet Authority, an independent agency within the federal government.

Deputy Chief Kelly interviewing with WACH Fox 57 and News 19 WLTX

“FirstNet is a communications system purpose-built to support the important work of first responders and represents a giant leap in communications capabilities for the public safety community,” said Terrence Ford, Director of Legislative Affairs for AT&T South Carolina. “We are excited to work with Mayor Benjamin and other city leaders to bring the benefits of FirstNet to the Columbia community and its first responders.”