No representative for FirstNet or AT&T has speculated how many states may take advantage of the “early opt-in” option, but FirstNet President TJ Kennedy said that recent response to the FirstNet service package has been positive.

“For the most part, what I’m hearing from everybody is, ‘This is better than we could have hoped,’” Kennedy said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.

During a panel discussion at the PSCR Public Safety Broadband Stakeholder Meeting, FirstNet CTO Jeff Bratcher, Rich Reed—FirstNet’s chief customer officer—and Selim Patel of AT&T provided some new details about the offer that will be included in the state plans.

In an “early opt-in” scenario, public-safety subscribers to FirstNet immediately will be given prioritized access across all AT&T spectrum bands through the AT&T commercial core. By the end of the year, primary public-safety subscribers—fire, EMS and law-enforcement personnel—will have preemptive access all AT&T spectrum through the AT&T commercial core, while “extended primary” public-safety subscribers will continue to have prioritized access.

“The only [service-level] difference between primary and extended primary is the ability to preempt,” Reed said.

In addition, the pricing levels will vary between the primary, extended primary and commercial users, Reed said.

“AT&T frankly did what we asked them to do, which is to provide their best possible service at their best possible price for that [primary] preemptive capability,” he said. “That highest level of service will have preferential pricing. Extended [primary public-safety subscribers] will have preferential pricing over commercial [customers] but not quite as aggressive as that primary group.”

In response to a question whether groups could be added to the primary public-safety category based on their specific responsibility, Reed indicated that there is some room for flexibility.

“If everyone has preemptive capability, it’s going to complicate the network—we think—a great deal,” Reed said. “If you need individuals to have that preemptive capability, we’re happy to have that discussion with you during consultation, and you can explain why that would be the case. Nothing’s written in stone.”