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. Prior to Minnesota’s decision, 22 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 and Louisiana—had announced their “opt-in” decisions, as did the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico territories.

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 priority access across AT&T’s commercial networks immediately and preemptive access by the end of the year.

“We congratulate Gov. Dayton on taking the first steps necessary to provide our state’s public-safety community with the cutting-edge technologies they need to protect Minnesotans,” AT&T Minnesota President Paul Weirtz said in a prepared statement. “AT&T is honored to bring FirstNet to Minnesota. We are proud to already have the most wireless coverage in Minnesota. And we are excited to strengthen our network coverage across the state to provide first responders with the innovative communications tools they deserve to carry out their life-saving mission.”