FirstNet released its initial state plans on June 19 and made them actionable, so governors would have the opportunity to “opt-in” to FirstNet prior to the final state plans being released on Sept. 29. Governors in 53 states and territories that received initial state plans on June 19—the exceptions being the Pacific territories of Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Island, which will have a separate timetable—are required to make their “opt-in/opt-out” decisions by Dec. 28.

Prior to the Colorado decision, 37 other states—Virginia, Wyoming, Arkansas, Kentucky, Iowa, New Jersey, West Virginia, New Mexico, Michigan, Maine, Montana, Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, Hawaii, Alaska, Tennessee, Nebraska, Maryland, Idaho, Texas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Alabama, Indiana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, North Carolina, Georgia, Vermont, Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Illinois—had announced their “opt-in” decisions, as did the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico territories.

New Hampshire is the only state that has had its governor announce plans to pursue the “opt-out” alternative.

Meanwhile, the District of Columbia and the following seven states have issued an RFP without having their governors announce an “opt-in/opt-out” decision to date: California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington.

Governors in four states have not announced an “opt-in” decision or had state officials issue an RFP seeking a potential alternative RAN vendor: Delaware, Florida, New York and North Dakota.

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.

“We applaud Gov. Hickenlooper for recognizing the benefits of opting in to the First Responder Network Authority and AT&T state plan for Colorado,” AT&T Colorado President Roberta Robinette said in a prepared statement. “It’s been a very thorough process to ensure Colorado’s first responders have the best tools to respond to crises.

“From wildfires and snowstorms to crowded events in downtown Denver, public safety tackles significant challenges every day. They have asked for—and deserve—a dedicated communications network to help them do what they do best: save lives. And we’re proud to work with Colorado to deliver this much-needed network.”