Michigan 10th State or Territory to Opt In to FirstNet System

Michigan became the 10th state or territory today to opt in to the First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet) system. “This initiative puts Michigan at the forefront once again for public safety and public service,” Lt. Gov. Brian Calley (R.) said. “The ability for public safety agencies to communicate is critical in an emergency. The enhanced capabilities offered by FirstNet and AT&T will help ensure that those risking their lives for our safety have the tools they need. This effort also will enhance the availability of broadband service across many rural areas of the state, something that Governor [Rick] Snyder [R.] and I continue to focus on as a priority for Michigan residents.”

Lt. Gov. Calley signed the letter of intent notifying FirstNet that the state wants AT&T, Inc., FirstNet’s network partner, to build its radio access network (RAN), which will be part of the nationwide network. Although Congress required a governor to make notifications concerning FirstNet, Michigan said in a news release that “Article V Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution gives authority to the lieutenant governor to act as governor when the governor is out of state.”

“Michigan issued a comprehensive RFP, and the governor and lieutenant governor ultimately decided that FirstNet and AT&T are best positioned to deliver the coverage, value and experience that the state’s public safety community expects,” said Jim Murray, president of AT&T Michigan. “It’s an honor to serve Michigan’s fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel. It’s our mission to help these brave men and women carry out their important mission.”

Rivada Michigan LLC beat out two other entities that submitted proposals in response to the state’s RFP (TR Daily, June 28). Rivada Mercury, a consortium led by Rivada Networks LLC, lost out to AT&T, Inc., for the 25-year FirstNet contract.  Rivada Networks declined to comment on Michigan’s announcement today.

“The Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s decision to join FirstNet comes after the state considered a number of options to get the best solution for public safety,” said FirstNet Chief Executive Officer Mike Poth. “FirstNet and AT&T are extremely pleased to have delivered the network plan that best meets Michigan’s unique needs. We look forward to connecting first responders across the Wolverine State’s diverse landscape – including its rural and tribal areas, as well as federal lands, border crossings and waterways.”- Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily