New Mexico, U.S. Virgin Islands Opt In to FirstNet

New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands announced today that they would opt in to the First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet) system. New Mexico became the eighth state to make such an announcement and the U.S. Virgin Islands became the first territory. “We have to keep doing more to keep our communities safe,” said New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R.). “I worked closely with law enforcement as a prosecutor for 25 years. I’ve seen firsthand the need for a streamlined and modernized communication network for our men and women in uniform. This system will help them save more lives.”

New Mexico was an early builder project state for FirstNet. “The United States Virgin Islands participated in FirstNet consultation and outreach activities throughout the planning of the network and reviewed the details of the FirstNet State Plan,” said Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp (I.).  “I have determined that it is in the best interest of the United States Virgin Islands and the Country to participate in the FirstNet deployment of the National Public Safety Broadband Network.”

“Governor Martinez’s decisive action to join FirstNet demonstrates New Mexico’s strong commitment to public safety,” said FirstNet Chief Executive Officer Mike Poth. “The FirstNet network will connect first responders operating across New Mexico’s diverse landscape — including its rural, mountainous and remote areas, as well as federal and tribal lands. FirstNet and AT&T are pleased to have delivered a plan that meets New Mexico’s unique needs, and we look forward to equipping first responders with the communications tools they need every day and in every emergency.”

Mr. Poth also praised the U.S. Virgin Islands decision. “AT&T is honored to work with the state to provide a communications network that will allow New Mexico’s first responders to operate faster, safer and more effectively,” said Jerry Fuentes, president of AT&T New Mexico. “This first-of-its kind network will transform the way our public safety community communicates, in both our urban and rural areas, increasing safety for them and the New Mexicans they serve.”

AT&T, Inc., is FirstNet’s network partner and will build radio access networks (RANs) in opt-in states. The RANs will connect to the FirstNet nationwide network that AT&T will build and maintain. —Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily