The Federal Communications Commission on Sept. 15 released the standards with which it will determine whether state broadband networks are interoperable with the National Public Safety Broadband Network. The FCC plans to assess states’ requests to opt out of FirstNet and use their own networks instead, through a two-pronged review system.
Verizon recently announced plans to build a dedicated network core for the public safety sector. In a press release, Verizon said it is reaffirming its decades-long commitment to public safety. The company plans to make substantial investments in new network capabilities, as well as expanded products and services, to enhance its industry-leading 4G LTE network for public safety.
AT&T was awarded a $6.5 billion contract to build and operate the nationwide network FirstNet. However, the legislation that authorizes FirstNet also authorizes a state to develop its own alternative on the spectrum carved out for the network, as long as the alternative is interoperable with the FirstNet core.