Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D.), Delaware Gov. John Carney (D.), Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R.), and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R.) today announced that their states will opt into the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), allowing FirstNet’s network partner, AT&T, Inc., to build their radio access networks (RANs) rather than seeking to contract with vendors to build their own RANs.
They join 39 other states and two territories that previously reached the same decision. Massachusetts and Connecticut’s decisions bring to 14 the number of states that have opted into FirstNet after seeking proposals from both FirstNet/AT&T and other vendors.
Thus far, only New Hampshire has said it plans to opt out of FirstNet. State governors have until Dec. 28 to make opt-out decisions. The Pacific territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands face a March 12, 2018, deadline for making opt-out notifications.
Gov. Malloy said, “When disaster strikes, communication is critical to the safety of Connecticut residents. After careful analysis and consideration of the FirstNet proposal, it became clear that opting in was in the best interests of our state and our first responders. This network will enhance communications for Connecticut’s first responders by providing priority access during disasters or emergencies.”
FirstNet Chief Executive Officer Mike Poth said, “Governor Malloy is putting public safety first with his decision to join FirstNet. As a result, Connecticut’s first responders now will have access to their own dedicated broadband network to help them communicate, coordinate and share information during emergencies.”
John Emra, president of AT&T Connecticut, said, “We’re honored to bring FirstNet to Connecticut and help transform public safety communications within the state. I’d like to thank Governor Malloy for his leadership and commitment to public safety. His decision will not only usher in a new era of public safety for his state, but it will also give Connecticut’s first responders immediate access to the critical communications tools they need to keep themselves and those they serve safe.”
Gov. Carney said, “Delaware’s first responders need access to state-of-the-art technology to communicate and respond effectively during emergency situations. This is only a first step, but this plan has real potential to prioritize communications among law enforcement agencies, fire and EMS personnel, and help our first responders protect the lives of Delawareans across our state.”
Mr. Poth of FirstNet said, “With Governor Carney’s decision today, FirstNet will deliver a state-of-the art network to address the challenges of communicating in all parts of Delaware — whether along the coast or in rural or underserved areas. Joining FirstNet will make all the difference for Delaware’s first responders when working to keep the communities they serve safe and secure.”
Denis Dunn, president of AT&T Delaware, said, “I’d like to thank Governor Carney for his dedication to first responders here in Delaware. We’re honored to help support the public safety mission and to provide the state with the best solution to help protect the safety of those first responders who save lives.”
In Massachusetts, “Governor Baker’s decision delivers a cutting-edge and sustainable network that will improve the quality of emergency communications,” Mr. Poth said.
Patricia Jacobs, president of AT&T New England, said, “Governor Baker is truly a great partner in public safety. We’re honored to have this opportunity to serve the first responders of Massachusetts and to provide the Commonwealth a public safety network that’s going to meet their needs for years to come.”
Gov. Burgum said, “First responders need access to the latest communications technologies to do their jobs most effectively, and events like the Dakota Access Pipeline protests demonstrated the important need for a common system to enable communication between and among first responders. We’re pleased to join FirstNet as another step toward improving our connectivity to help enhance the safety of our first responders and all of our citizens.”
Mr. Poth said, “Governor Burgum’s decision will enhance public safety communications throughout the state’s rural and remote areas, including federal and tribal lands. FirstNet is pleased to have delivered a dynamic and modernized network solution that meets North Dakota’s unique needs, and we look forward to our continued partnership with the Peace Garden State.”
Cheryl Riley, president of AT&T North Dakota, said, “Public safety in North Dakota will now have access to the game-changing communications FirstNet is delivering to first responders.” —Lynn Stanton, firstname.lastname@example.org