As the first stage of the five-year First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) buildout gets underway in Oregon, state officials, AT&T and FirstNet say rural deployment will not be an afterthought, reported Radio Resource Media Group.
“Rural is something that won’t be waiting until last,” said Carrie Johnson, director of public-safety advocacy and tribal affairs specialist for AT&T’s FirstNet program. “It is a key priority during every stage of the buildout and beyond those first five years as well.”
With each stage of the buildout, there is a requirement for rural coverage to ensure that AT&T doesn’t wait until the fifth year to begin deploying that coverage, said David Soloos, the single point of contact (SPOC) for Oregon.
The breakdown for rural deployment over the five-year buildout requires 20 percent of rural coverage be built in the first year, 60 percent in the second, 80 percent in the third, 95 percent in the fourth and 100 percent by the fifth year. “Rural will be coming online as it comes online with urban first responders,” said Soloos.
One focus of the entire buildout is on the needs of first responders. As part of the state consultation process, FirstNet and AT&T worked to understand which areas need better connectivity, reported Radio Resource Media Group.
Since the Oregon network is still in design and planning stages, AT&T is working with state, local and tribal entities that have expressed interest in partnering with FirstNet to determine what kinds of assets and resources those organizations might have and how they could help the FirstNet buildout.
February 16, 2018