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Iowa announces participation in FirstNet cell network

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Posted at 10:21 AM, Jul 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-18 11:35:36-04

At their weekly press conference Tuesday, Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg announced Iowa will participate in the FirstNet cell network. 

Iowa is one of the first states to opt-in to the program, which allows first responders to have priority during a crisis. 

According to a release, first responders have previously used more than 10,000 networks to communicate, which caused issues during emergencies because they had the same access as consumers. 

Now, police, firefighters and other emergency workers will receive special SIM cards for their smartphones. 

“The FirstNet network will not only strengthen and modernize public safety communications in our state, but also bring much needed investment to our communications infrastructure,” Gov. Reynolds said. “By partnering with FirstNet, we will be able to expand coverage for first responders. As a result, this will also help expand coverage for rural Iowans, providing access to a reliable, high speed wireless connection in areas with little or no connectivity today.”