“We see it as a complement to what FirstNet is doing,” he said.” It doesn’t require a state to opt out of FirstNet; it doesn’t require a use of any federal funds; and it doesn’t require states to make their own investments in network.”

Many in the public-safety industry have indicated that they would like to see a competitive alternative to FirstNet for mission-critical broadband. FirstNet CTO Jeff Bratcher said today that “competition is always great” and that basic interoperability between FirstNet and other LTE networks should not be a problem, but he also emphasized that FirstNet is designed to be different from commercial offerings.

“If you are not on a FirstNet subscription, you will not have the same capabilities as the public-safety users on FirstNet—we need to be clear about that,” Bratcher said during the “FirstNet Town Hall” session at APCO 2017.

Maiorana said that Verizon would be open to the idea of developing interoperability between Verizon’s dedicated public-safety core and FirstNet’s dedicated public-safety core operated by AT&T.

Early in the week, Maiorana said that only “very limited conversations” about interoperability had occurred between FirstNet officials and Verizon. When asked whether Verizon representatives had spoken more with FirstNet about interoperability, Maiorana declined to comment but said, “We see a meaningful opportunity to work with FirstNet to accelerate their mission to serve public safety nationwide.”