In his blog, Maiorana notes that Verizon supports “more than 2/3 of all first responders” in the U.S., noting the carrier’s role in supporting public-safety personnel in California as they battle massive wildfires.

“And we’ll still be here next year and on, as we launch our dedicated public safety network and continue to support public safety with reliable communications and an array of innovative products, services and applications,” Maiorana states in the blog.

“This isn’t a new marketplace for us—this is what we do.”

Maiorana said that Verizon serves public safety “because our motivation is to continue to support first responders, plain and simple.

“But what’s AT&T’s motivation?”

Maiorana cites quotes from AT&T CFO John Stephens, who described the ability for AT&T potentially to gain access to 2x10 MHz of nationwide spectrum via the FirstNet deal as “remarkable” and noted that the spectrum would be used to support AT&T’s broadband, smart cities and Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives, as well as serving public safety.

“Yes, that certainly is remarkable,” Maiorana states in the blog. “And I think the taxpayers who are providing the nearly $6.5 billion to help AT&T build a network they will use to develop a commercial IoT business would also find it remarkable.

“It’s worth pointing out that Verizon will build its dedicated public-safety network core, and continue to grow and innovate its nationwide public-safety-grade network, though our own investment, without taxpayer-funded support.”

Public-safety advocates have long supported the notion that unused capacity on FirstNet could be used for commercial purposes, as long as it does not compromise first-responder communications. Last week, AT&T announced that all “primary” public-safety FirstNet subscribers will have preemptive access across the carrier’s entire network, not just the network supported by the spectrum licensed to FirstNet.