Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens today announced that he has accepted the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) deployment plan offered by FirstNet and AT&T on behalf of his state, making Missouri the 34th state—not including two territories—to “opt-in” to the FirstNet system.

“Gov. Greitens’ decision to opt-in to FirstNet is the right choice for our state and for our first responders,” Missouri Director of Public Safety Charles “Drew” Juden, III, said in a prepared statement. “We are pleased to work with AT&T and FirstNet to ensure that the public-safety community gets to use and benefit from the latest technological innovations.”

Under the law that established FirstNet, governors in all 56 states and territories have the choice of making an “opt-in” decision—accepting the FirstNet deployment plan and allowing AT&T to build the LTE radio access network (RAN) within the state’s borders at no cost to the state—or pursuing the “opt-out” alternative, which would require the state to be responsible for building and maintaining the RAN for the next 25 years.

With Greitens’ announcement, Missouri becomes the ninth state to announce an “opt-in” decision after issuing a request for proposals (RFP) seeking bids from vendors willing to deploy and maintain an alternative RAN. Previously, the states of Michigan, Arizona, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Georgia and Vermont issued RFPs but later had their governors announce “opt-in” decisions.

“Gov. Greitens' decision demonstrates his strong commitment to public safety throughout the Show-Me State,” FirstNet CEO Mike Poth said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to delivering the interoperable, high-speed network that will help first responders share information and communicate seamlessly when saving lives and protecting communities across Missouri.”

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 Missouri decision, 33 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 and Ohio—had announced their “opt-in” decisions, as did the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico territories.

Last week, New Hampshire became the first state to have its governor announce plans to pursue the “opt-out” alternative.

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