Officials for FirstNet and AT&T declined to provide specific pricing information publicly. Sambar expressed confidence that public-safety representatives will be pleased with the subscription pricing packages.

“States and individual public-safety agencies will find the pricing very compelling—from a value standpoint, it will provide tremendous value,” Sambar said. “They’ll be paying very close to—if not less than—what they’re paying today.”

Earlier this month, FirstNet and AT&T announced that the notion of “draft” state plans had been discarded, meaning that governors could accept the FirstNet state plan any time after it was delivered today. Several states have indicated interest in this “early opt in” option. AT&T crews are ready to begin work quickly in those states that accept the FirstNet state plan early, Sambar said.

“As soon as a state opts in, within weeks, there will be work orders generated, jobs created and investments going into states for governors that decide to make the decision to opt in sooner [rather] than later,” he said. “So, this is yet another reason why this is such tremendous value proposition for governors to opt in and opt in quickly.”

After a governor accepts the FirstNet state plan, public-safety entities in that state will be able to subscribe to a FirstNet service. Initially, that would include prioritized access across all of AT&T’s commercial spectrum bands and preemptive access on these networks by the end of the year, Sambar said. This preemption capability would expand to FirstNet Band 14 spectrum as soon as that infrastructure is deployed.

“They’ll have access to a priority feature, which is a feature that is sold on our network today but at an extra cost,” Sambar said. “It won’t cost extra with FirstNet, and—when preemption launches at the end of the year—that won’t be an incremental cost, either.”

By releasing the state plans today, FirstNet and AT&T—the nationwide FirstNet contractor for the next 25 years—trigger a timetable that includes three key milestones that are scheduled to be completed by the end of the year for states that do not choose the “early opt-in” option:

  • State comments regarding the state plans are due by Aug. 4;
  • FirstNet will consider the comments and submit final state plans by mid-September; and
  • Governors will need to decide by mid-December whether to accept the FirstNet proposals for their states or to pursue the “opt-out” alternative.

When asked about AT&T’s hardening and resiliency plans for FirstNet, Sambar said that the 47-day comment period provides an opportunity for states to express any concerns.

“AT&T’s network, as it stands today, is built to some of higher levels of hardening and resiliency—we base them on earthquake standards that originated out in California,” Sambar said. “So, we have a very robust network as it stands today. If specific states have requests for additional hardening and resiliency, those will be addressed in the state portal—they’ve been addressed already—or they will be addressed based on the 45-day comment period that the states have coming up.”

Reed said that three U.S. territoriesAmerican Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands—did not receive state plans today, because FirstNet wanted to ensure that their plans included sufficient detail for their governors to take action.