Ghilarducci concluded his letter on a hopeful note.

“California has high hopes and expectations for the FirstNet initiative,” the letter states. “Our partnership and collaboration will undoubtedly deliver the best solution to our public-safety users. Over time, this system will likely be a primary means of communication and its resiliency and redundancy will be critical for the safety of California’s citizens.”

Ken McNeely, president of AT&T Pacific Region, indicated that AT&T will work with the state of California in the future.

“We applaud Gov. Brown for recognizing the benefits of opting in to the First Responder Network Authority and AT&T state plan for California,” McNeely said in a prepared statement. “We also acknowledge CalOES Director Mark Ghilarducci and his staff, who have worked tirelessly to ensure that AT&T's state plan will provide California's first responders with the best tools and technology innovations when responding to emergencies.

“As we have seen with the unprecedented 2017 wildfires, first responders tackle significant challenges every day. California has asked for, and deserves, a communications network to help first responders save lives. AT&T is proud to work alongside California to build this interoperable broadband network dedicated to public safety, and we will continue to work with Gov. Brown and OES to address the state’s needs.”

AT&T officials have stated that deployment of LTE on the 700 MHz Band 14 spectrum licensed to FirstNet could begin as early as this year in certain parts of the country. Public-safety agencies in “opt-in” states are eligible to sign FirstNet contracts that give first responders preemptive access across AT&T’s commercial networks immediately.

AT&T will build the FirstNet RAN in “opt-in” states or territories at no cost to each jurisdiction, although local public-safety entities will be responsible for paying subscription costs and end-user device expenses. However, the law that established FirstNet stipulates that individual public-safety agencies and potential first-responder users are not required to subscribe to the FirstNet service.