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 Vermont decision, 31 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 and Georgia—had announced their “opt-in” decisions, as did the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico territories.

Meanwhile, the District of Columbia and 11 states have issued an RFP without having their governors announce an “opt-in/opt-out” decision to date: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington and Wisconsin. Of these states, Colorado and New Hampshire are the only states to announce winners of their procurement.

Seven governors in the following states have not announced an “opt-in” decision or had state officials issue an RFP seeking a potential alternative RAN vendor: 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.

“I’d like to thank Gov. Scott for his leadership and commitment to public safety, which is clear and unwavering. Opting in to FirstNet puts Vermont’s first responders on the cutting edge of innovative communications, helping them operate faster, safer and more effectively when lives are on the line,” Patricia Jacobs, president of AT&T New England, said in a prepared statement. “Vermont’s first responders—residents and visitors, alike—will all benefit from the FirstNet solution, which won’t cost the state a dime to build, operate or maintain.”