FirstNet and AT&T’s first responder network may have more competition – From Verizon

FirstNet

Verizon announced its plan to implement its own first responder network for public safety on Wednesday, Aug. 16. Verizon will build its own private network dedicated to public safety communications and will give priority access to first responders with no charge.

“We stand with the public safety officials that keep our cities, communities and neighborhoods safe,” said John Stratton, Verizon executive vice president and president of global operations in a press release. “Support for public safety is in our company’s DNA and our commitment to them never waivers.”

FirstNet and AT&T have gained traction with their plans to implement a first responder broadband network, and Verizon mentions that its “public safety network solution does not require that states opt-out of FirstNet.”

After releasing State Plans for their First Responder Broadband network in June, FirstNet and AT&T now have had 14 states or territories opt-in to its network. The most recent opt-in was on Tuesday, Aug. 15, when Kansas governor Sam Brownback agreed to opt-in for his state’s public safety officials.

“This initiative positions Kansas to provide state-of-the-art emergency communication services to the benefit of our residents, businesses and visitors,” said Gov. Brownback in a news release.

Kansas joins Arizona, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, West Virginia, New Jersey, Iowa, Kentucky, Arkansas, Wyoming, Virginia and the Virgin Islands in accepting this public safety broadband network that is only for first responders.

The decision to opt-in to a state specific state plan falls to that state’s governor. Once the governor has agreed to opt-in, AT&T and FirstNet “will deploy, operate, and maintain FirstNet no cost for 25 years,” according to FirstNet. First responders will have priority access to the network, but according to reports from the APCO 2017 show this week, firemen and EMS workers will have first priority over all first responders.

Connected Real Estate Magazine will keep you updated on the latest news on Verizon’s public safety network and on opt-ins for the FirstNet- AT&T network, which will change the way first responders, such as firemen, police, and EMS, communicate.

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