Tucker previously worked in law enforcement and said he believes the FirstNet endeavor will enable a uniquely beneficial scenario for public safety.

“As the guy who used to sign off on the cell-phone bills for my agencies, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile—no one from those companies ever walked into my office and said, ‘Chad, what if we were to add cell sites in your state? Where would you want us to put them? How could you use a dedicated public-safety help desk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? What if we were to add deployables? Where would you put those deployables? How would you use those deployables? How many deployable s would you need?’ Tucker said.

“No one ever asked us those questions. Today, in all 50 states and six territories, those questions are being discussed with governors and cabinet secretaries and leadership teams in every state through this opt-in process, as the governor gets ready to make a decision. They’re having those conversations right now, reviewing plans that were developed with input from the states from every one of those specific areas. To be honest, no one has ever put this much effort into getting it right for public safety … That’s different today.”

Prior to bidding on the FirstNet contract, AT&T spent billions of dollars upgrading its network—in terms of coverage and capacity—to “get us in the position to be the obvious choice for FirstNet,” Tucker said.