Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) announced that all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have accepted FirstNet and AT&T’s proposals to design and build a broadband network for the public safety community. Guam, the Pacific Territories of American Samoa, and the Mariana Islands have until March 12, 2018, to make their decision.
“With all 50 states and several territories participating in FirstNet, we have a clear path to delivering a truly nationwide broadband network for first responders,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “We are now one step closer to delivering on a key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, and I commend the governors and leaders of these states and territories for demonstrating their commitment the safety of all Americans.”
“FirstNet will transform how first responders communicate as they respond to emergencies and protect the public in communities across the country, including rural America,” said Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator David Redl. “As we turn now to deployment, I look forward to continuing to work with FirstNet, AT&T, and first responders in all states, territories, and Washington, D.C., to make this network a reality.”
FirstNet is an independent authority within the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). FirstNet’s mission is to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of the nationwide broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities. In March 2017, the Department of Commerce and FirstNet announced announced a partnership with AT&T to build and operate and the first responder network. It will deliver the technologies and infrastructure that public safety desperately needs for day-to-day operations, disaster response and recovery, and securing of large events.