Tennessee, Puerto Rico Opt in to FirstNet
Friday, September 01, 2017 | Comments

Tennessee and Puerto Rico became the latest state and territory to opt in to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), pushing the count of states and territories that have opted in to 19.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam accepted the FirstNet and AT&T state plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the state's public-safety community.

A statement said FirstNet has been meeting with Tennessee's officials and public-safety personnel for several years to address needs such as extending communications and technology in rural areas and state parks designated as emergency staging areas, preparing for needs arising from the possibility of a major seismic event along the New Madrid fault, and expanding network capacity to accommodate Tennessee's booming population growth in urban areas.

FirstNet builds on the nearly $1.2 billion investment AT&T has made in its Tennessee wireless and wired networks during the past three years, AT&T officials said. These investments drive a range of upgrades and improve critical services that support public safety and first responders.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló also opted in to FirstNet.

"With this new tool, we reinforce the exchange of information between the security agencies and the response during an emergency,” he said. “We are convinced that improving the communication between the components of public safety will be for the betterment of the people of Puerto Rico.”

FirstNet met with officials in the territory to discuss providing increased resiliency, stationing dedicated network assets on the island that can be deployed for expedited response and recovery efforts as needed, and improving coverage along critical coastal areas.

For a full list of states that have opted in and other information, visit this page.

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