After giving state governors time to mull over state plans provided last June for a public safety broadband network, FirstNet is now looking answers from these states.
FirstNet announced on Sept. 29 that it started its 90-day period of allowing state governors to opt-in or opt-out of its plan for a public safety broadband network. State governors have until Dec. 28 to make their decisions. If a decision is not given to FirstNet and AT&T by that date, then it will be assumed that the state agreed to opt-in.
If a state decides to opt-in to FirstNet and AT&T’s public safety broadband network, it will allow AT&T to come in and fully fund the deployment and the network for a broadband system designed for the needs of public safety officials.
If a state decides to opt-out, then they won’t be receiving help from AT&T or FirstNet and will be responsible for taking on costs that come with creating and maintaining a public safety network.
“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 in a FirstNet press release. “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.”
Back in June, FirstNet and AT&T released State Plans–three months ahead of schedule–that allowed state governors to make adjustments to their state plans, respectively.
Partnered with AT&T, FirstNet has been working towards creating a public safety broadband network for public safety officials and first responders since March. Twenty-four states have already agreed to opt-in to FirstNet and AT&T’s state plans.
The urgency for a public safety broadband network has increased in the last month, as a result of several natural disasters that left many in need of help and without cell reception.
Several states, such as Texas and Louisiana, opted-in to FirstNet shortly after Hurricane Harvey.
FirstNet and AT&T are not the only ones looking to deploy a public safety network. Verizon Wireless announced its intentions to start its own broadband network specifically for first responder use back in August, which means if states decide to opt-out, they also MAY have Verizon’s public safety broadband network to turn to. Even if a state has already opted-in to FirstNet, they can still receive Verizon services, according to a press release.
Connected Real Estate Weekly will keep you informed about the most current news on the of public safety broadband networks, and on the amount of states that opt-in to FirstNet.