AT&T offers state governments its emergency LTE network
FirstNet’s priority LTE network for first responders is a long time coming. Now that its deal with AT&T means the project is finally moving forward, some states’ firemen and EMTs might have a dedicated network for communication very, very soon. The partners have begun presenting US states and territories with individual State Plans detailing what they’ll get. Each State plan comes fully funded and won’t cost local governments additional financial resources, but governors can still choose to opt out if they want to build their own network and to conjure up their own plans.
In fact, there’s already a consortium of companies, including Intel, Fujitsu, Ericsson and Nokia, that’s offering to work with states that choose to opt out. Thus far, eight states have reportedly submitted a request to build their own alternative first responder network. The rest can spend up to 45 days reviewing their State plans.
AT&T will build the network for the states that choose to opt in and will maintain it for the next 25 years. If everything goes well, responders in those locations will have dedicate access to the network by the end of the year.