All 50 states agree to use AT&T first responder network

All 50 states agree to use AT&T first responder network
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AT&T said on Friday that all 50 states had opted into the broadband network it is building for first responders as part of a $6.5 billion contract with the federal government.

AT&T was awarded the contract in March, following a post-9/11 recommendation from a federal commission to create a network to help first responders communicate during emergencies.

States were given the option of opting out to build their own networks, but none decided to do so.

Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands also opted into the program. American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands have until Mar. 12 to decide to opt in.

AT&T says that it will ultimately spend $40 billion to build the network, which it calls “FirstNet.”

It will receive $6.5 billion a year for the next five years from the First Responder Network Authority, created by the federal government to build and maintain a public safety broadband network.

As part of the deal, AT&T will receive 20 megahertz of high-value spectrum to run emergency communications to free up consumer networks and prevent them from being overwhelmed during emergencies.