AT&T says all 50 states have opted into first responder network FirstNet

AT&T says all 50 states have opted into first responder network FirstNet

AT&T will build the FirstNet RAN in "opt-in" states or territories at no cost to each jurisdiction, although local public-safety entities will be responsible for paying subscription costs and end-user device expenses. AT&T says it will build the foundation next year, adding Band 14 for more capacity and coverage, as well as identifying and hardening "certain critical sites" in states, including places where natural disasters are likely. States that don't announce decisions will be included in the FirstNet project. New Hampshire has been studying a network proposal from Rivada Networks.

Governor Sununu stated he believed the decision deadline of December 28 approached too rapidly for states to feel confident in an opt-out decision, and he did not want New Hampshire to be the only one with an independent network.

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Decisions from American Samoa, Guam and Northern Marianas Islands are not due until March 12. No states have announced plans to go with an alternative public safety network planned by Verizon Communications (VZ).

"Whether we're responding to wildfires in eastern Washington or floods in western Washington, our first responders must have a reliable communications network and this process was about ensuring we get them the best service possible", Inslee said in the press release.

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The federal agency and AT&T will build a wireless broadband network specifically for the state's public safety community, to assist first responders in being able to talk with each other when cell towers are overwhelmed.

John Stevens, the state's interoperability coordinator and FirstNet state single point of contact said he was "disappointed" that the hurdles to an opt-out was too high, but was "proud" of the efforts of the state through the process. "We are pleased that the state's vigorous pursuit of the opt-out path left us in a stronger position than any other state in the country".

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