Are states going to opt-out of AT&T’s FirstNet?
Now that the Rivada court challenge appears to be resolved, many pundits and experts expect AT&T to be awarded the FirstNet contract. Once the FirstNet contract is awarded to AT&T (only remaining qualified bidder), AT&T has 180 days to prepare state specific FirstNet plans. States then have 90 days to decide to opt-in or out. If they opt-out of FirstNet, states have the option of building their own public safety networks to FirstNet standards. Some states have already issued RFPs and in one case, awarded the state public safety network to Rivada. This does not mean that the states will opt-out- just that they are evaluating their options. Should they choose to opt-out, they have 180 days to issue an RFP or provide FirstNet with a plan for review. To the extent that a state opt-out, AT&T will not get spectrum or funds in that state.
We prepared this map that represents the states that have issued, awarded, or announced that they plan to issue an RFP.