AT&T and FirstNet are slashing the opt-in timeline for the first responder network buildout, giving states eager to participate the ability to green light the project as soon as they’re ready.
In a Thursday media call following FirstNet’s State Plan Kickoff meeting, FirstNet Chief Customer Officer Rich Reed and AT&T’s SVP of FirstNet Chris Sambar explained the organization will no longer be issuing “draft state plans” this month but rather just “state plans.” The distinction there is that states will be able to move forward with the first iteration of the plan if they’re comfortable with it.
As outlined by Reed, FirstNet is planning to distribute all the state plans at once later this month. Once the states receive their plans, they will have 45 days to review them and return comments, after which AT&T and FirstNet would have another 45 days to adjudicate those comments. Once that’s settled, states would then have 90 days to lock in their participation. With the added timeline flexibility announced Thursday, however, Reed said states that are satisfied with the original plan will be able to bypass the first 90 days of back and forth and skip straight into the 90 day opt-in window. That will allow governors to flag their state’s intended participation much sooner, he said.