SEC Filing Breaks Down First Five Years of AT&T Payments to FirstNet
Monday, February 26, 2018 | Comments

A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing from AT&T breaks down AT&T’s payments to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) over the first five years of its contract with to build the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN).

AT&T will make sustainability payments to FIrstNet of $240 million in 2018; $120 million in 2019, 2020 and 2021; and $195 million in 2022. AT&T will then be on the hook for $17.2 billion for the rest of the contract. Over the length of its contract with FirstNet, AT&T will pay around $18 billion in sustainability payments.

Under the legislation that created it, FirstNet is required to reinvest funds that exceed the agency’s operating expenses back into the network.

“Being subject to federal acquisition rules, FirstNet is prohibited from contractually committing to a specific vendor for future network reinvestment,” AT&T’s annual 10-K filing said. “However, it is highly probable that AT&T will receive substantially all of the funds reinvested into the network since AT&T will own and operate the infrastructure and have exclusive rights to use the spectrum as all states have opted in.”

AT&T said it expects FirstNet to reinvest about $15 billion into the network after it covers its operating expenses. That number as well as several others, such as AT&T’s expectation that it will spend $40 billion to build, operate and maintain the network over the course of the 25-year contract, were included in the company’s quarterly 10-K filing back in November.

As part of the contract, AT&T is eligible to receive $6.5 billion in reimbursements over the next five years as it reaches certain milestones in the buildout process. As of Dec. 31, AT&T had completed certain task orders and collected $328 million in reimbursements. The filing did not specify what these completed task orders were.

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