The telecommunications world has started off with a bang in 2018 with the full acceptance of AT&T’s FirstNet public safety network in the United States. Fifty states and three U.S territories have now opted in to the 25-year deployment plan.
According to GCN, “Last March FirstNet chose AT&T to build its nationwide public-safety wireless broadband network, which will be funded with $6.5 billion of government money and a planned $43 million expenditure by AT&T. The telecom giant gets access to highly desirable spectrum reserved for the system, which it can use on its commercial service when not in demand by priority users.”
You can see why FirstNet is desirable on both sides, despite initial hesitation from many states across the country. AT&T set December 28, 2017 as the deadline for states and territories to opt in. On that day, AT&T announced that all 50 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia had chosen FirstNet. However, some of the country’s big players – California, Florida, and New York – waited until the final day to announce their decision. For the territories that have yet to decide – American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Marianas Islands – they have been given until March to make a choice, according to FirstNet.
“We are grateful to have every state say ‘yes’ to the FirstNet solution,” said Michael Poth, FirstNet CEO. “The scale of participation by the states and territories is significant for many reasons.”