Although New Hampshire ultimately decided against pursuing the “opt-out” path, state officials said they believe that the research and procurement process proved to be beneficial.

“It is unfortunate that the Federal Government did not provide states with sufficient clarity in time for most states to adequately evaluate their options,” New Hampshire Safety Commissioner John Barthelmes said in a prepared statement. “Because New Hampshire started early and conducted a thorough evaluation of both paths, we were presented with a strong opt-out plan that strengthened the state’s negotiating position.

“I want to thank Rivada again for their efforts in developing an incredible plan for New Hampshire and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.”  

State Interoperability Coordinator John Stevens echoed this sentiment.

“I am immensely proud of the extraordinary efforts of the SIEC [Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee] and our entire state team throughout this process,” Stevens said in a prepared statement. “Together, we conducted the nation’s most thorough state level review of available FirstNet options, negotiated hard on behalf of the state and its first responders, and ultimately obtained one of the best opt-in plan proposals of any state in the country.

“While we are disappointed that the regulatory and financial hurdles for opt-out ultimately proved too high, we are pleased that the state’s vigorous pursuit of the opt-out path left us in a stronger position than any other state in the country.”

Earlier this month, AT&T released a statement that an “opt-in” decision from Sununu by today would result in the FirstNet system providing 99% population coverage and 98% geographic coverage within the state.

For Rivada Networks, the New Hampshire announcement closed the company’s best opportunity to build and maintain an alternative RAN in an “opt-out” state.

“We respect Gov. Sununu’s decision,” according to a Rivada Networks statement provided to IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “We salute New Hampshire’s vision and courage in selecting us. If more states shared the Granite State’s diligence, Integrity and commitment to transforming public safety communications, New Hampshire would not have had to stand alone at the deadline. 

“We are proud to say that, thanks to our efforts, first responders all over the country have gotten a better deal and better service than they could have hoped for without the competitive pressure we offered. Rivada will continue to work to transform the wireless industry through our open access wireless technology.”