IAFC Stresses Benefits of States Allowing AT&T to Build FirstNet RANs

May 17, 2017–The International Association of Fire Chiefs today emphasized what it said are the benefits of states permitting AT&T, Inc., the First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet) network partner, build their radio access networks (RANs). “If a governor decides to opt-out and build its own RAN, this will delay the process of building out the RAN in the state. States will assume all technical, operational, political, and financial risks and responsibilities related to building their own RAN for the next 25 years,” said a blog posting by Gary McCarraher, chairman of the IAFC’s Communications Committee and chief of the Franklin, Mass., Fire Department. “IAFC members should be contacting their FirstNet State Points of Contact (SPOC) to get up-to-date information about their specific state plans and provide input as their governors make their decision.”

“Make sure the governor understands that if he/she allows FirstNet to buildout the RAN, one of the key benefits of the partnership will be the availability of priority services immediately after a governor makes the decision to stay in the network. This priority access will be made available over FirstNet’s existing partner AT&T’s nationwide network and on all its Long-Term Evolution (LTE) bands. This is only available to opt-in states,” Mr. McCarraher said in the blog posting. “Inform the governor that if he/she is considering building their own RAN believing they can make a profit for the state building and operating its own RAN, this is not the case. FirstNet has made it clear that under its interpretation of the statute that any profit made in a state may not be kept in the state but must be shared with the nationwide broadband network. As the fire service leaders in your respective states, you need to have your voices heard and voice your views to the governors in your states as they make the decision to opt-in or opt-out. Once the governor makes the decision, stay involved in the process.” —Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily