FirstNet’s flawless record remains intact with several new states agreeing to FirstNet and its partner AT&T’s plan to build and operate a public safety network dedicated to first responders.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert decided to opt-in to the public safety network plan on Monday, Nov. 6. “First responders need to have the most advanced and reliable communication technology so they can access critical information, respond efficiently, and coordinate efforts,” said Herbert in a FirstNet press release.
Utah is the 31st state or territory to agree to opt-in to FirstNet’s plan. Over half of the U.S. has agreed to allow FirstNet and AT&T to fund, deploy, and operate its first responder network.
South Carolina and Pennsylvania also decided to opt-in on Thursday, Nov. 2. FirstNet has worked with South Carolina’s networks since 2014 to help the state deal with public safety communications, according to FirstNet. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced in a FirstNet press release that they had decided to opt-in to the State Plan.
“Reliable communication is a critical component in protecting the public,” said Mark Keel, Chief of South Carolina Law Enforcement.
Pennsylvania was another state to accept FirstNet’s plan for a new public safety broadband network. “As we have learned from recent events in many parts of the country, a vital component needed for coordinating a response is the ability for all responders on the scene to share information as events unfold,” said Pennsylvania Gov. Tim Wolf.
On Wednesday, Nov. 1, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin agreed to opt-in to FirstNet’s public safety network State Plan as well, making it the first of four states to opt-in to FirstNet so far this month.
The State Plans FirstNet and its partner AT&T released in June are tailored to each individual state needs and public safety concerns. States or territories that have opted-in all are looking forward to the update to their public safety communications.
Despite its initially success convincing states to opt-in to its plan, FirstNet saw a lag in responses mid-October from states after New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu announced that he signed an executive order for a committee to investigate the implications of opting-out of FirstNet.
As of Wednesday, Nov. 8, New Hampshire has not opted out—no state or territory has. Competitors like Verizon and Rivada are working on alternative first responder networks, and states are welcome to opt-in to FirstNet and still explore these options. In order to provide more information about the opt-out process, FirstNet released a “FirstNet facts” page on its website to clear up any misconceptions and to keep the public informed.
FirstNet and AT&T gave state governors a 90-day period to make a decision in regards their state plans, respectively, and the Dec. 28 deadline is looming closer.
Connected Real Estate Weekly will keep you informed on the state or territory opt-ins or opt-outs of FirstNet State Plans.
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