I’d like to share some exciting and historic news with you. A letter has been signed by the lieutenant governor accepting the FirstNet and AT&T* plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to Michigan’s public safety community. This makes Michigan one of the first states in the country to “opt in” to FirstNet and bring advanced technologies that will help first responders save lives and protect communities.
FirstNet and AT&T will build, operate and maintain a highly secure wireless broadband communications network for Michigan’s public safety community at no cost to the state for the next 25 years. The FirstNet network will deliver innovation and create an entire system of modernized devices, apps and tools for first responders.
“This initiative puts Michigan at the forefront once again for public safety and public service,” Lt. Gov. Brian Calley (R-Michigan) said. “The ability for public safety agencies to communicate is critical in an emergency. The enhanced capabilities offered by FirstNet and AT&T will help ensure that those risking their lives for our safety have the tools they need.
“This effort also will enhance the availability of broadband service across many rural areas of the state, something that Gov. [Rick] Snyder and I continue to focus on as a priority for Michigan residents” said Calley, who signed the letter of intent notifying FirstNet that the state wants AT&T, Inc., FirstNet’s network partner, to build its radio access network (RAN), which will be part of the nationwide network.
Although Congress required a governor to make notifications concerning FirstNet, Michigan said in a news release that “Article V Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution gives authority to the lieutenant governor to act as governor when the governor is out of state.
“Michigan issued a comprehensive RFP, and the governor and lieutenant governor ultimately decided that FirstNet and AT&T are best positioned to deliver the coverage, value and experience that the state’s public safety community expects,” said Jim Murray, president of AT&T Michigan. “It’s an honor to serve Michigan’s fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel. It’s our mission to help these brave men and women carry out their important mission.”
This is one of the most economical and technologically advanced projects that will support Michigan’s first responders and the residents they serve. The network will transform the way Michigan’s fire, police, EMS, emergency management and other public safety personnel communicate and share information. Specifically, FirstNet and AT&T will:
> Connect first responder subscribers to the critical information they need in a highly secure manner when handling day-to-day operations, responding to emergencies, and supporting large events.
> Create an efficient communications experience for public safety personnel in agencies and jurisdictions across the Commonwealth. This would help during natural disasters.
> Enhance network coverage in rural areas. This will benefit first responders and residents in areas such as rural Michigan and more.
> Drive infrastructure investments and create jobs across the state.
> Usher in a new wave of innovation that first responders can depend on. This will create an ever-evolving set of life-saving tools for public safety, including public safety apps, specialized devices and Internet of Things technologies. It also carries the potential for future integration with NextGen 9-1-1 networks and Smart Cities’ infrastructure.
The FirstNet solution that will be built in Michigan was designed with direct input from the state’s public safety community. Since 2013, FirstNet has met Michigan officials and public safety personnel to address their unique communication needs.
The decision enables FirstNet and AT&T to begin creating an entirely new wireless ecosystem for public safety communications. Specifically, Michigan’s first responder subscribers will have immediate access to quality of service and priority to voice and data across the existing nationwide AT&T LTE network. Preemption for primary users over the AT&T LTE network is expected by year-end. This means fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel will have dedicated access to the network when and where they need it -- 24/7/365, like their mission.
We look forward to working with the public safety community and leaders statewide to create an entirely new wireless ecosystem for public safety communications.
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