Jay Inslee and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced their states will be the next two members of the First Responder Network Authority, known as FirstNet. FirstNet could also get a 5G upgrade in the future.
AT&T says it will spend about $40 billion over the life of the contract to deliver FirstNet and all states are opt-ing in.
After reviewing submissions, state officials settled on the FirstNet State Plans provided by AT&T. States that don't announce decisions will be included in the FirstNet project.
"Following our decision to opt-out and go with the Rivada plan that provides better coverage, more system control and an opportunity to share in the revenue streams of the business, we proceeded to have extensive discussions with other governors across the country to help them understand the benefits of such a system", Sununu said.
Rivada Networks did not respond to StateScoop's requests for comment by publication time. American Samoa, Guam and Northern Marianas have until March 12 to decide to opt in. With no decision, a state automatically opts-in to the network.
FirstNet, which will be operated through a public-private partnership with AT&T, will build, operate and maintain the secure wireless broadband communications network at no cost to the states.
The network would give preference to first responder calls, ensuring that they're able to communicate with each other during large events, similar to the Seahawks Super Bowl victory parade in 20145, when local cell towers were clogged up. The carrier recently held an opt-in/out period during which states had to decide whether they wanted in...and, it turns out, they all do.
AT&T said FirstNet will see many changes in 2018, such as FirstNet-approved mobile apps, fully-encrypted public safety data and public safety community engagement. "We are pleased that the state's vigorous pursuit of the opt-out path left us in a stronger position than any other state in the country".