Published: Sat, December 30, 2017
Tech | By Amelia Peters

On final day, New Hampshire reverses FirstNet decision and opts in

This first responder-centric network is the result of years of work.

The First Responder Network Authority will make payments to AT&T based on success, ultimately shelling out $6.5 billion. 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.

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.

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Rivada Networks did not respond to StateScoop's requests for comment by publication time. All are participating, and American Samoa, Guam, and Northern Marianas Islands get until March 12, 2018 to decide. With no decision, a state automatically opts-in to the network. "Our goal has and will always be to bring each state and territory the best and most sustainable network - a solution designed for public safety, by public safety, delivered by a proven partner". "It will provide our first responders with the tools they need to keep Mississippians safe".

The opt-out decision, and the entire process leading up to a decision allowed the state to maintain leverage to "ensure that the AT&T proposal was one of the best in the country", Sununu said. Some had explored other options, but ultimately chose to go with FirstNet.

In a statement released today, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu announced the state would reverse their previous decision to opt-out of FirstNet, the nation's public safety broadband network, and instead opt-in to the national network being built by AT&T, rather than pursue an independent network for New Hampshire alone which would have been built by Rivada.

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