Utah previously was one of only nine states that had not announced an “opt-in” decision or issued an RFP seeking a potential alternative RAN vendor. The eight remaining states in this category are California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, New York, North Dakota, Ohio and South 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 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 have worked closely with Gov. Herbert, his staff and the review team convened by the Utah Communications Authority to make sure that the FirstNet network built in Utah will meet the needs of Utah's public safety community,” Tara Thue of AT&T Utah said in a prepared statement. “We're honored to have the opportunity to serve Utah's first responders and look forward to collaborating with state, local and public-safety leadership as we implement FirstNet.”