With the addition of Alabama, over half the states have signed on to FirstNet, the emergency broadband network being run by AT&T in a private-public partnership.
According to FirstNet, Alabama governor Kay Ivey agreed to accept the FirstNet-AT&T state plan after checking out alternatives via requests for proposals, making it the third state to check out other options but opt for FirstNet, it said.
Verizon, for one, has signaled it, too, will offer an emergency communications network. States are not required to sign up for FirstNet, but whatever emergency network operation they come up with has to be interoperable with it.
Alabama makes 26 states that have agreed to the FirstNet plan. “FirstNet and AT&T are extremely pleased to have delivered the network plan that best meets Alabama’s unique needs.," said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth of the most recent sign-up.
FirstNet also announced it had sent plans to Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa after consulting with those U.S. territories.
FirstNet was created by Congress and funded through FCC spectrum auctions--specifically the AWS-3 auction.