Meanwhile, the District of Columbia and 12 states have issued an RFP without having their governors announce an “opt-in/opt-out” decision to date: Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin. Of these states, New Hampshire is only state to announce the winner of its procurement—Rivada Networks.

South Carolina previously was one of only 10 states that had not announced an “opt-in” decision or issued an RFP seeking a potential alternative RAN vendor. The nine remaining states in this category are California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Utah.

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.

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 appreciate the seriousness and diligence Gov. McMaster and his team brought to the question of South Carolina’s opt in,” Pamela Lackey, president of AT&T South Carolina, said in a prepared statement. “It matches our own commitment to delivering this first-of-its-kind communications tool for first responders. We’re honored to bring FirstNet to South Carolina and connect its public-safety community to the life-saving technologies they, and our residents, deserve.”