Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) board members today approved an agreement that would transfer the LA-RICS public-safety LTE assets to AT&T, so they can be integrated into the FirstNet system, if California Gov. Jerry Brown makes an “opt-in” decision.

LA-RICS Executive Director Scott Edson tweeted today that the LA-RICS joint-powers authority board this morning voted unanimously in favor of the deal.

Terms of the agreement call for AT&T—FirstNet’s contractor to build and maintain the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN)—to pay LA-RICS $6 million for the regional authority’s existing public-safety LTE assets and another $6 million for infrastructure associated with a proposed network expansion. Expected to close in March or April, the deal also calls for AT&T to provide LA-RICS as many as 3,300 replacement routers, SIMs and devices and $2.5 million in services to deploy the routers, SIMs and devices.

“LA-RICS leadership and technical engineers worked for weeks with AT&T leadership and engineers to put together an agreement that benefits all parties and greatly benefits the region’s ability to properly serve the 11 million residents of LA County, especially during a major emergency or disaster,” Edson said yesterday in a prepared statement.

AT&T would receive LA-RICS assets deployed at 75 public-safety-grade sites—13 of which are cell-on-wheels (COW) sites—and any spare equipment held by LA-RICS, according to the proposed agreement.

Before the agreement can be executed, California Gov. Jerry Brown must make an “opt-in” FirstNet decision, which would mean that AT&T would build the LTE radio access network (RAN) in the state. In addition, the deal would have to be approved by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grants office—administrators of the federal grants used to fund deployment of the LA-RICS system.

Like other state governors, Brown is facing a Dec. 28 deadline to make an “opt-in/opt-out” decision for FirstNet. Last month, California issued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking a vendor willing to build an alternative RAN in an “opt-out” scenario, and evaluation of those bids was scheduled to be completed Wednesday.

“We’re excited to have reached an agreement with LA-RICS,” Chris Sambar, AT&T’s senior vice president for FirstNet, said yesterday in a prepared statement. “Los Angeles and the RICS team were at the forefront of developing the nationwide public safety broadband network. So, we’re pleased to integrate their assets into the FirstNet network we will build in California, should they opt in.

“It’s our mission to build a world-class network for first responders, and this will help us deliver the highest-quality public-safety service experience to Los Angeles, California and the nation.”

Incorporation of the LA-RICS LTE system—the largest “early builder” public-safety LTE network in the country—into FirstNet has been a priority for LA-RICS officials. In addition, Edson repeatedly has noted that LA-RICS built its cell sites to the “public-safety-grade” standard established by the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC), so the LA-RICS infrastructure should be integrated into the FirstNet system.