During an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications after the keynote, Swenson said she is encouraged by the rate that public-safety agencies are adopting FirstNet.

“I feel good about it,” Swenson said. “It’s obviously easier for people who are on AT&T to make the conversion, but people who are on Verizon are making the transition. Obviously, they have to have the contract vehicle to do it and the purchasing vehicle to do it.

“But I think the pace is good. Any faster—when you’ve got new systems and everything—you want to continue to monitor to make sure that it is performing up to speed, and you can overwhelm a system, so I think we’re pretty pleased with the pace.”

For public-safety agencies that do not already have budgets for broadband services, some very interesting trends are emerging, Swenson said. In addition to adopting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) or subscriber-paid strategies, some entities are considering notable alterations to their financial models, including a re-evaluation of LMR expenditures.

“People are obviously having to go back to their legislatures and do reallocations of funds,” Swenson said. “Now that there’s something tangible now to allocate money to [in FirstNet], I think it makes sense.

“I also think people have to look at what they are spending on LMR. I think they have to look at that and say, ‘If it’s going to cost me a couple hundred million [dollars] to upgrade to LMR, maybe I spend less than that to move over to FirstNet’—and maybe even partner with AT&T to get on local, state or federal location and create coverage or partner and actually pay for additional coverage where it’s not part of the [state] plan. In other words, I think people are opening their eyes to say, ‘It’s not incremental. We could just reallocate funds that we’re spending today and have a better outcome.”

When asked whether any government entities have decided to pay for additional FirstNet coverage, Swenson did not cite any specific examples to date.

“I think there are conversations. I think some of the more progressive governors are actually taking a look at that,” Swenson said. “You’ve got to look at the total budget. This is not just an incremental story; this is, ‘What are we spending money on today, and would we be better spending it on this [FirstNet]?’

“Obviously, people are used to LMR, but the more that we have public safety using the technology and telling their colleagues about it—they’re going to trust a colleague more than they’re going to trust me or somebody from AT&T—but if they’re using, which they are, and they’re saying, ‘This is awesome,’ like at the Boston Marathon—amazing stuff happening there.”