Health Care

FirstNet, AT&T advance broadband network for public safety

"The delivery of FirstNet's state plan for review within Alabama is a significant step toward providing Alabama's first responders with the communications services they need to help save lives and protect communities". States have up to 45 days to review the plans and comment on them before a 90-day period starts for each territory governor to decide whether to opt in or out of the FirstNet offering.

FirstNet said it has worked with states, territories, localities, federal authorities and the public safety community since 2013 to develop the plans, which were delivered three months ahead of schedule. How much spectrum is available for commercial use will depend on how many states opt into the FirstNet program. Public safety users will have priority on the network, but AT&T customers can use capacity on the network when it is not in use by public safety.

AT&T will build the network for the states that choose to opt in and will maintain it for the next 25 years. In addition, the government provided $6.5 billion toward the cost of the network. Motorola said recently that it has been chosen by AT&T as a key supplier for FirstNet equipment.

"When we announced our public-private partnership in March, we committed to begin building this unprecedented network and technology ecosystem for public safety later this year", said Chris Sambar, senior vice president of AT&T-FirstNet, in a press release. Previously AT&T said it expected 10,000 jobs to be created as a result of the FirstNet buildout.



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