New Hampshire became the first US state to opt out of AT&T’s FirstNet build, choosing instead to contract with Rivada Networks for construction of the first responder network.
Chris Sununu, New Hampshire’s governor, announced the decision on Thursday (7 December) three weeks ahead of the 28 December opt-in deadline. The move marks the first win for Rivada, which actively pitched itself as an alternative in the 18 states which put the project out for a public bid.
In a statement, Rivada said it was “honoured” to be chosen for the network build. The company added it stands ready with its partners to “roll out state [radio access networks] in any state that opts to follow this bottom-up approach to emergency communication”.
To date, a total of 35 states and territories have elected to move ahead with build plans designed by FirstNet’s official contractor, AT&T. They include New Hampshire’s neighbour Vermont, which opted-in at the end of November after seeking outside proposals. So far, eight states have settled on AT&T’s FirstNet plans after issuing a competitive request for project bids.
Chris Sambar, the operator’s FirstNet SVP, said in a statement these opt-ins reflect “a belief across the nation that it is the best option for the public safety community and the residents they serve. He indicated AT&T remains “hopeful New Hampshire will continue to assess the substantial risks associated with an opt-out proposal of an unproven vendor”.