Verizon Tries to Maintain Stake in Public Safety as FirstNet Opt-Ins Stack Up

 

AT&T may have been awarded the FirstNet build contract, but rival U.S. wireless carrier Verizon said it plans to continue offering public safety solutions to states regardless of their opt-in status.

In a recent ex parte filing with the FCC, Verizon reiterated “the company’s intention to provide reliable and innovative public safety communications services to state and local governments irrespective of whether states choose to opt out of the FirstNet network.”

The assertion marks the continuation of Verizon’s attempts not to be left out of the public safety market as a steady stream of state opt-ins to AT&T’s FirstNet build come rolling in.

Verizon in July asked the FCC to confirm states have the “same flexibility as FirstNet to select partners for deploying and operating” their public safety networks. That same month, Mike Maiorana, senior vice president of Verizon’s Public Sector business, issued a statement noting the carrier’s “decades-long commitment to the public safety market is as strong as ever.”

“We understand the needs of public safety, and we continue to support these important customers by building upon the years of trust we’ve established with our nation’s first responders,” Maiorana said. “We have a clear roadmap to the future with nationwide fiber investments, smart cities solution deployments, and our commitment to 5G technology — all of which will benefit public safety and our communities. And we intend to offer services and solutions that will complement and enhance the overall desired outcome of FirstNet.”

But Verizon – like fellow FirstNet alternative Rivada – faces an uphill battle.

 

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