States Have Joined FirstNet, California Remains a Mystery

"The Bureau will announce the 90-day decision period for these territories by future public notice after FirstNet provides the required statutory notice to each territory and informs the Bureau it has done so", according to the Federal Communication Commission's public notice posted on the Federal Register.

"While California remains concerned that the proposed plan does not meet all our state's needs, California is opting into the plan with the expectation that our concerns will be addressed throughout our partnership", Brown stated in his letter notifying FirstNet of the "opt-in" decision.

"These new sites will lead to a top quality public safety network for our first responders and enhanced coverage for all of our citizens", said Sununu.

With hours left before the deadline for states to make a decision on whether to opt in or out of the the nationwide broadband network for first responders, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu changed his mind. The decision was made, the governor said, because of the risk associated with being the only state to opt-out of the network.

Sununu said he still believes the Rivada plan is the better option for New Hampshire, but determined the risks are too great. While we were successful in working with FirstNet to remove the unreasonable fees and penalties, the decision deadline of December 28th approached too quickly for these other states to feel confident in an opt-out decision. With no decision, a state automatically opts-in to the network.

Florida has joined a national program created to improve mobile communications for first responders.

It wasn't until 2012 that Congress enacted the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), but the telecom giant was not awarded the contract until March of this year.

"Through this entire process, New Hampshire has been able to maintain strategic leverage and ensure that the alternative AT&T proposal was one of the best in the country", Sununu said.

Each state or territorial governor nationwide has 90 days from the receipt of notice to decide whether to participate in the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network or have the state conduct its own state Radio Access Network deployment. "We are pleased that the state's vigorous pursuit of the opt-out path left us in a stronger position than any other state in the country".

  • David Armstrong