West Virginia Opts In to FirstNet to Transform Public Safety Communications

AT&T, in a public-private partnership with FirstNet, will build, operate, and maintain the network at no cost to the state for the next 25 years; the governor said it will transform the way West Virginia's fire, police, EMS, and other public safety personnel communicate and share information.

Promising the decision will transform communications for public safety agencies in the state, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has opted in to FirstNet, which means FirstNet and AT&T will deliver a specialized wireless broadband network to West Virginia's public safety community. This made West Virginia the seventh state to do so.

"FirstNet and AT&T are really stepping up to help West Virginia and we are all grateful for their efforts to expand coverage for our first responders and our communities," Justice said July 28. "Our people will be safer because of this incredible initiative and it gives our state a launch pad for new jobs. I applaud AT&T for their commitment to a service area footprint that enhances coverage in West Virginia. Competitive pricing and the opportunities this will bring for future investment are limitless. The FirstNet network is a step toward putting West Virginia's first responders on the leading edge."

AT&T, in a public-private partnership with FirstNet, will build, operate, and maintain the network at no cost to the state for the next 25 years; the governor said it will transform the way West Virginia's fire, police, EMS, and other public safety personnel communicate and share information and will:

  • Give responders critical information both day to day and when they're responding to emergencies and supporting large events such as the State Fair of West Virginia
  • Create efficient communications for public safety personnel during natural disasters
  • Enhance network coverage in rural areas
  • Drive infrastructure investments and usher in a new wave of innovation that first responders can depend on

"Mobile broadband access is a critical, life-saving technology that needs to be in the hands of every first responder in West Virginia and across the country," U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said. "I commend Governor Justice's decision to expand mobile broadband coverage for our public safety community through FirstNet and I applaud AT&T's efforts to help modernize our public safety communications infrastructure. I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Justice and AT&T to expand mobile broadband access for both our first responders and all West Virginians."

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