The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) delivered official notice of State Plans to governors today. Governors will have 90 days – until Dec. 28 – to decide whether to accept the FirstNet/AT&T* plan for deploying the nationwide public safety broadband network or initiate the process to have the state take on the responsibility for deploying its own Radio Access Network (RAN) that must be interoperable with the FirstNet network.
This key milestone follows delivery of updated State Plans to the states and territories last week. FirstNet and AT&T initially released build-out plans in June 2017 – 3 months ahead of schedule – and have since consulted with the states, territories, and the District of Columbia to refine those plans based on the feedback received.
"These plans will unlock innovation and create next-generation tools to help first responders save lives and protect communities across the U.S.," said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth. "As the governors look to make their decisions, we will continue to work closely with the states to ensure the network meets the needs of their first responders."
The governor of each state and territory has the option to:
- Adopt the FirstNet plan to build the network in his or her state or territory, which shifts all responsibility and costs for deploying, operating, maintaining, and improving the network to FirstNet and AT&T ("opt in"); or
- Elect to take on the risk, responsibility and costs associated with building, operating, maintaining, and improving their own RAN ("opt out").
If a state does not take any action on its updated State Plan by Dec. 28, the state will automatically opt in to the FirstNet network. FirstNet will then issue a task order for AT&T to begin deploying the RAN portion of the network in the state.
Twenty-four states and territories have already chosen to opt in to the FirstNet/AT&T plan for deploying the FirstNet network. Most have cited low risk, expanded coverage, increased network capacity, and immediate access to mission-critical capabilities as key drivers behind their opt-in decisions.
"Connectivity underlies everything first responders do," said Chris Sambar, senior vice president, AT&T – FirstNet. "That's why they've spent years advocating for access to modern communications capabilities. We're honored so many U.S. states and territories have already entrusted us to make these life-saving tools available to their first responders. We look forward to continuing to work with states and territories as they make decisions on how to best deliver the most important public safety innovation of their lifetime."
These decisions will bring first responders across the country one step closer to the nationwide network solution they deserve. FirstNet and AT&T will continue our mission to give public safety access to the interoperability, reliability and innovation they need to help keep themselves safe and their communities secure.
For more information on a governor's decision, go to firstnet.gov/the-governors-decision-media-kit. Opt-in updates can be tracked here: firstnet.gov. For information on subscribing to FirstNet, please go to FirstNet.com.
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Established in 2012, its mission is to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of the nationwide, broadband network that equips first responders and other public safety personnel to save lives and protect U.S. communities. Learn more at FirstNet.gov/mediakit and follow FirstNet (@FirstNetGov) on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
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