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  • Writer's - Nationwide Push to Talk and Tracking

More States Accept FirstNet AT&T Plans to accept the First Responder Network Authority

More states announced plans to accept theNetwork Authority (FirstNet) and AT&T state plans for public-safety broadband networks in their states. The deadline to opt out of the FirstNet state plans is Dec. 28.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced his decision to accept FirstNet’s plan for a wireless broadband network for the public-safety community. To inform his decision, Malloy created a working group of subject matter experts and the state went through a competitive request for proposals (RFP) process. The governor took the advisement of the working group that opting in would best serve the interests of the people of Connecticut.

“When disaster strikes, communication is critical to the safety of Connecticut residents,” Malloy said. “After careful analysis and consideration of the FirstNet proposal, it became clear that opting in was in the best interests of our state and our first responders. This network will enhance communications for Connecticut’s first responders by providing priority access during disasters or emergencies.”

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker accepted the FirstNet and AT&T plan for a public-safety Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in the state. Massachusetts also released an RFP for an alternative radio access network (RAN) for the state to compare to the FirstNet and AT&T plan.

In Massachusetts, FirstNet will expand rural and waterway coverage and improve in-building and sub-surface coverage within urban areas, a statement said. The state plan will make deployable network assets readily available for events and emergencies and provide feature-rich services at competitive prices.

“Governor Baker’s decision delivers a cutting-edge and sustainable network that will improve the quality of emergency communications in the Commonwealth,” said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth. “FirstNet gives law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services the communications tools they need to help keep their communities safe and secure during disasters or day-to-day operations.”

Delaware Gov. John Carney announced his decision to opt in, and a statement said the plan will extend coverage to include rural areas across the state, the Atlantic beach areas and the coastline of the Delaware Bay, while also improving in-building coverage. The plan also includes a deployable solution that supports emergency response and events.

“Delaware's first responders need access to state-of-the-art technology to communicate and respond effectively during emergency situations,” said Carney. “This is only a first step, but this plan has real potential to prioritize communications among law enforcement agencies, fire and EMS personnel, and help our first responders protect the lives of Delawareans across our state.”

Finally, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum announced his decision to accept the FirstNet and AT&T plan for the state.

"First responders need access to the latest communications technologies to do their jobs most effectively, and events like the Dakota Access Pipeline protests demonstrated the important need for a common system to enable communications between and among first responders," Burgum said. "We're pleased to join FirstNet as another step toward improving our connectivity to help enhance the safety of our first responders and all of our citizens."

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