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One down, 49 to go: Virginia signs up to FirstNet

Date: 11th July 2017
Topic: News
Author: Philip Mason
emergency services, FirstNet

Virginia has become the first state in the US to sign up to the country’s burgeoning public safety broadband network FirstNet.

The decision will be made official tomorrow [Wednesday July 12] when governor Terry McAuliffe takes part in a ceremonial letter signing at FirstNet headquarters in the Virginian town of Reston.

Speaking of the state’s decision to become involved with FirstNet, governor McAuliffe said: “I am proud that we are the first state in the nation to opt in to this program, that will help our first responders communicate during times of emergency.


“While this is only the beginning of the process, I look forward to the continued coordinated efforts among Virginia, FirstNet, and AT&T to provide public safety officials with innovative new technologies that will help them keep Virginians safe.”

Once rolled-out, FirstNet will provide first responders across the country with blanket, prioritised LTE coverage on a state-by-state basis using AT&T’s existing LTE network. Preemption for primary users over the network is expected by the end of this year.

According to a statement released by Virginia, FirstNet has met with state officials more than 90 times since 2013, “to address its unique communication needs.” These include maritime coverage, as well as coordination with military and federal government users.

Photo: Skyline Richmond Virginia by Jim, CC BY-SA 2.0


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