Rhonda Silence

New towers will bring expanded cell service to the North Shore, Gunflint Trail

First responders and the sheriff’s department in Cook County are getting a major boost in their wireless communications thanks to a network expansion that includes a new cell tower in Hovland along the North Shore between Grand Marais and Grand Portage.

The tower will give first responders and local law enforcement on FirstNet – America’s public safety network – access to always-on, 24-hours-a-day priority and preemption across voice and data.

The news of cell-site expansion in Cook County follows a decision in 2020 by the county board to allow a new tower on Gunflint Lake. The new tower will bring cell service to many parts of the Gunflint Trail for the first time. Ground work on building the new tower on Gunflint Lake started the week of May 17, according to local officials.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Cook County Management Information Services Director Rena Rogers for an update on the projects. The audio to their conversation is shared below.