FirstNet and its partner AT&T received the best present for the holiday season: opt-ins from all 50 U.S. states. FirstNet has been working for a good portion of 2017 to bring to all U.S. states a public safety broadband communications network for first responders, and that goal has finally been accomplished.
FirstNet released State Plans for public safety networks in June, and since then it has been working with states and territories to ensure that specific needs are met. FirstNet gave state governors a Dec. 28 deadline to decide on whether their states would opt-in or opt-out.
Two U.S. territories and Washington D.C. have also chosen to join FirstNet. Three U.S. territories have the extended deadline of March 12, 2018.
“This is a landmark day and a monumental achievement for public safety—one that has been years in the making,” according to First Responder Network Authority Board Chair Sue Swenson in a FirstNet press release.
Since last March, FirstNet and AT&T partnered to create these State Plans.
New Hampshire, the state that originally decided to opt-out of FirstNet in December, choose to accept FirstNet and AT&T’s plan. After talking to other state governors, and working with FirstNet to get additional fees reduced, New Hampshire reversed their plan and accepted FirstNet.
“While Rivada’s plan remains the better option for New Hampshire, I have determined that the additional risk associated with being the only state to opt-out creates too high a barrier for New Hampshire to continue down the opt-out path alone,” according to New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu in a press release.
In early 2018, FirstNet and AT&T will work to deploy Radio Access Networks (RAN) in all 50 states and in the two territories.
“Our FirstNet offering will forever change the way first responders communicate,” according to Chris Sambar, senior Vice President AT&T – FirstNet.
Consider reading this article on new technologies here.