AT&T Wins 25-Year Agreement to Build First Responder Broadband Network

FirstNet, part of the federal Department of Commerce, announced the Dallas-based company’s selection to build the $46.5 billion network on March 30.

A unit of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), has selected AT&T to build the first nationwide wireless broadband network for America's first responders. FirstNet announced the 25-year agreement on March 30 that calls for FirstNet to provide 20 MHz of telecommunications spectrum and success-based payments of $6.5 billion during the next five years to support the network buildout – funding that was raised in previous FCC spectrum auctions – and AT&T to spend about $40 billion during the life of the contract to build, deploy, operate, and maintain the network.

"Today is a landmark day for public safety across the Nation and shows the incredible progress we can make through public-private partnerships," said U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. "FirstNet is a critical infrastructure project that will give our first responders the communications tools they need to keep America safe and secure. This public-private partnership will also spur innovation and create over ten thousand new jobs in this cutting-edge sector."

AT&T will connect FirstNet users to the company's telecommunications network assets, valued at more than $180 billion.

The high-speed network will be built specifically for millions of public safety users in all 50 states, five U.S. territories, and Washington, D.C., including those serving rural communities and tribal lands. "This public-private partnership is a major step forward for the public safety community as we begin building the broadband network they fought for and deserve," said FirstNet Chair Sue Swenson. "FirstNet and AT&T will deliver high-speed connectivity to help millions of first responders operate faster, safer, and more effectively when lives are on the line."

"This unique partnership brings together FirstNet as the voice of public safety and a global technology team with a proven track record and commitment to public safety," added FirstNet CEO Mike Poth. "Together, FirstNet and AT&T will move with precision and urgency to deliver this much-needed infrastructure to those who need it the most: our first responders."

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