New Hampshire Panel Advises Governor to Opt-Out of FirstNet

The New Hampshire Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC) voted to recommend that the governor opt-out of FirstNet, the nationwide broadband communications network being built by AT&T. A committee spokesman told Urgent Communications the group made the decision after receiving the costs associated with New Hampshire’s FirstNet plan, which were “well within the anticipated ballpark.”

If New Hampshire does actually opt-out of FirstNet, the state would go forward with an alternative plan from Rivada Networks to build and operate a broadband public safety network. Gov. Chris Sununu thanked the SIEC and stated he would “carefully” review their recommendation and “reach a decision in the near future.”  

New Hampshire chose Rivada Networks as its broadband public safety communications network vendor in September 2016, but the initial agreement doesn’t have a lot of detail, Urgent Communications reported. Should Sununu choose Rivada, a new agreement would need to be written, according to officials for the state and the governor. Rivada had no comment on the development, preferring to wait until the final opt-in/opt-out decision is made.

States and U.S. territories must make their opt-in/opt-out decisions for FirstNet by December 28, Inside Towers reported. AT&T would build, maintain and operate a state’s Radio Access Network (RAN) for 25 years for those that choose FirstNet. Those that choose to opt-out would be responsible for building, maintaining and operating their RAN’s. They must also ensure their RANs are compatible with FirstNet’s.

October 11, 2017   

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