Governors will have an opportunity to accept the FirstNet state plan for deploying a public-safety broadband network within the borders as soon as this month, a FirstNet official announced today at the organization’s meeting of state points of contact (SPOCs) in the Dallas area.

Representatives of FirstNet and AT&T—FirstNet’s nationwide contractor—previously have stated that governors would receive their draft state plan from FirstNet this month and that fall is the target timeframe for final state plans, after which governors could accept the state plan or choose to pursue the “opt-out” alternative. While June 19 remains initial target date, FirstNet is dropping the notion of a “draft” state plan, so states and territories can accept the plan “as early as they would like,” according to Rich Reed, FirstNet’s chief customer officer.

“We’re no longer using the term ‘draft state plan,’” Reed said during a press conference today. “We’re just delivering the most complete, actionable state plan possible. The reason for that is that we’ve heard from many states that they have a desire to move more quickly than we originally envisioned, and we wanted to build in that flexibility.”

Under the new approach, FirstNet will deliver the state plan to governors later this month. If the governor likes the state plan and does not want to propose changes, the state plan can be accepted immediately, Reed said. Several states have expressed interest in such an early “opt-in” process, because it would allow their first responders to have preemptive access across all of AT&T’s commercial wireless networks immediately and enable AT&T to being constructing its Band 14 700 MHz public-safety LTE system as soon as possible.

However, this approach will not compress the timeframe for other states and territories, Reed said. Upon receiving the June state plan, state and territories will have 45 days to review the proposal and provide comments on potential improvements. After receiving those comments, FirstNet and AT&T will try to address the noted issues and resubmit the state plan—an action that will start the statutory 90-day clock for each governor to accept the state plan or pursue the “opt-out” alternative, which requires the state to build its own LTE radio access network (RAN).

Chris Sambar, senior vice president of AT&T FirstNet, said that subscriber pricing would not released broadly today, but it would be included in the state plans.

SPOCs and other state representatives—more than 200 people, representing all 56 states and territories—attended the two-day event, and the attitude change during the conference was noticeable, according to Sambar.

“The first day, you had a lot of people walk in the door with skepticism on their face, because they didn’t know what the solution was—they hadn’t been told yet,” Sambar said. “They had a lot of questions, and they were a little bit stiff. They said, ‘We’re expecting a lot of answers here, and FirstNet’s done a lot of these over the last couple of years, and they haven’t given us a lot of answers.’ Well, of course not, because they didn’t have an awardee.

“Now, they have all the answers. So, their mood clearly softened over the hours and over the two days, and the reaction that I got as I walked out of my last morning session … [included] lots of people shaking my hand, saying, ‘This is great. This is everything we’ve been asking for—fantastic. This is great. Thank you for all of the detailed information.’ So, we’re feeling really good about it.”