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Thread: First Net (or the equivalent) equals more cell towers on remote summits?

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  1. #1
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    First Net (or the equivalent) equals more cell towers on remote summits?

    Folks may or may not be aware of a new nationwide emergency communications system that is being deployed in all states. This is essentially a high priority (LTE radio network) cellular network running inside the existing commercial networks infrastructure. Rather than install all new equipment and a parallel network, First Net is essentially in the background routing “emergency” data and phone calls over the existing networks by “authorized users”. Authorized users will be assigned an access code that will be linked to their phone number so that when they make a call, First Net will route them as a priority.

    Everything is normal to a standard user until bandwidth gets tight in an area where an emergency is occurring. What then happens, First Net gets priority and non-priority traffic is severely limited or curtailed. (I have seen some speculate that “big brother” will use it for ominous civil control purposes but I will leave the conspiracy theories to others to flesh out). The default provider is ATT who intends to piggyback this network on their equipment and using First Net revenue as a way of subsidizing a major upgrade of their network overall. There is an option to opt out and use another provider and NH is considering opting out of the ATT solution. The fundamental problem with ATT in NH is they have a very weak network as most of their services in rural areas are from third party providers where they will lack control, this means they will build out their network which means far more towers in rural areas. The big bucks in the project are ATT ends up with RF bandwidth formerly reserved and used for emergency communications as compensation.

    In the past NH has short circuited permitting and protective easements and located "essential" radio towers on properties protected under conservation easements under the guise of public safety. I believe there was a court case between a conservation organization that had a development easement on a summit and the state which was resolved in the states favor. What normally happens is the state builds the tower and then commercial firms piggyback on it so the state gets revenue to offset the initial and ongoing tower cost.

    The opt out contractor in NH is a hedge fund, they plan to contract the services from other providers but fundamentally the rural areas are underserved so someone needs to do a build out. If NH elects to go this way and the hedge fund drops the ball it potentially costs the state significant penalties.

    The question is, will ATT or the opt out contractor selected by NH (or other states) elect to start putting in cellular facilities on remote summits bypassing standard permitting under the guise of public safety? I expect most of the whites are safe as they are under federal control except for Cannon and Moosilauke. I would expect it would be far more of an issue in Nash Stream and Pittsburg area but of course most of the hiking public rarely ventures there.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 12-06-2017 at 03:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member jjo's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I hope not.....Thanks for update
    "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn"-J.Muir

  3. #3
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    48 new towers statewide all under the guise of public safety. About the only safe lands will be federal.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    48 new towers statewide all under the guise of public safety. About the only safe lands will be federal.
    Any idea at this point where these new towers will be placed?

  5. #5
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    Pure speculation is under served rural areas. Verizon is building out internet based cell antennas around the north country of late but to date ATT has used third party providers north of RT2 (except for a very expensive cell antenna in Groveton paid for with state and Eversource subsidies) and in other rural areas (possibly Grafton County?) My limited research is that ATT has to control the antenna for First Net so they cant just do a third party lease.

    My pure speculation is high places in rural areas like Signal Mountain in Millsfield, Magalloway in Pittsburg, Monandnock near Colebrook, Aziscohos in Wilson Mills and Whitcomb in Nash Stream are all logical spots except for lack of power as they had fire towers at one point so they should have good coverage. The US border patrol has put in three solar powered repeater sites that may be similar to a remote cell site. http://northernreliability.com/proje...ommunications/ . These are not small installations and require clearcutting a view to the south from the summit plus helicopter access.

    It would be interesting if the Forest Service jumps in on this, they have two projects to install repeaters, one on Carrigan and one on Cabot that appear to be on the back burner. Despite being far smaller impact that would get it on someone agencies budget.

  6. #6
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    I interpret the OP to be based a lot on speculation. Where does conservationism outweigh public safety? That’s a difficult one to define. With ever increasing population and modernization of the North Country infrastructural needs will be in more and more demand. The use of the word “guise” alludes that something is awry. Maybe “premise” would be more appropriate.
    Last edited by skiguy; 12-29-2017 at 03:03 PM. Reason: Spelling
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Vermonster's Avatar
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    Most of the new Coos County service is being built out by a Portland firm called Wireless Partners LLC and at present Verizon is the only carrier signed up. I'm told it is fairly straightforward to activate other carriers--if the carriers want. Of interest to those on this forum that like to visit Umbagog NWR. A new tower will shortly be activated near the south end of the lake near the state boat launch. The existing tower in Errol only provides coverage roughly 0.5 miles from the junction of 16 and 26.
    If you want to take advantage of these new sites you need a more modern 4G phone configured in a certain way. Instructions are here:
    http://www.wireless-partnersllc.com/...sitePrimer.pdf
    Sometimes it is not 100% reliable and you may need to put your phone in airplane mode and take it back out again in order to get the phone to recognize the cell.

    As for the FirstNet buildout. It is unlikely to be pretty if the joint Maine/Border Patrol reliability project is any gauge. At least on Mount Blue (Weld, ME) they hid much of the technology in a fake fire tower. But on West Kennebago there is not much hidden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4Efsv6wcNU

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