RESTON, VA.�Virginia has become the first state to sign on to the national framework for the FirstNet interoperable emergency communications network.
According to AT&T and FirstNet, the upsides for the state include enhanced rural broadband access, new infrastructure investment and jobs, public safety apps and new internet of things devices.
�I am proud that Virginia is the first state in the nation to opt in to this program that will help our first responders communicate during times of emergency,� said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, who will preside over a ceremonial signing at FirstNet headquarters Tuesday (July 11) in Reston, Va. �While this is only the beginning of the process, I look forward to the continued coordinated efforts among Virginia, FirstNet, and AT&T to provide public safety officials with innovative new technologies that will help them keep Virginians safe.�
It was only about six weeks ago that the Department of Commerce (FirstNet is an independent authority within Commerce) announced�AT&T had been awarded the multi-billion-dollar, 25-year contract�to build and maintain FirstNet, the interoperable first responder public safety network proposed by the 911 Commission well over a decade ago following communication failures during the attack's tragic aftermath.
The network was funded through FCC's AWS-3 spectrum auction (FirstNet, the interoperable first responder public safety network proposed by the 911 Commission well over a decade ago following first responder communication failures during the attack's tragic aftermath.).
States can submit alternative plans for deploying emergency communications,�but they must be interoperable with the FirstNet national plan.
A version of this story was originally posted on the website of Radio sister publication B&C.