New Hampshire’s Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC) yesterday voted unanimously to recommend that Gov. Chris Sununu choose to pursue the “opt-out” alternative to FirstNet, which calls for Rivada Networks to build and operate the public-safety LTE radio access network (RAN) in the state.

John Stevens, New Hampshire’s single point of contact (SPOC), said the SIEC vote was conducted yesterday morning during a SIEC meeting that included a quorum of the 30-member panel. According to draft minutes of the 12-minute meeting, 15 SIEC members voted for the “opt-out” recommendation while two members abstained.

“The Data Communications working group and the SIEC today voted on what option to recommend to the governor, and the recommended option was to opt out,” Stevens said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “Obviously, that’s the governor’s decision. He’ll receive all of the information that the Data Communications working group and the SIEC used to analyze both plans. It will then be his decision as to what he wants to do.”

Stevens said the SIEC voted on the recommendation the day after receiving two pieces of critical information from FirstNet—the costs associated with the state accessing the FirstNet LTE core network and the 20 MHz of 700 MHz Band 14 spectrum licensed to FirstNet. Stevens declined to provide any indication about the cost estimates but said that they were “well within the anticipated ballpark.”

These pieces of information were not included in the official state plan delivered to New Hampshire on Sept. 29, but they were provided on Wednesday, allowing for the SIEC recommendation vote yesterday, Stevens said.

“I congratulate FirstNet in being responsive to providing that information,” Stevens said. “Our mission is to make FirstNet as strong as possible here in New Hampshire, no matter what the decision is in the future. Our responsibility here was to carry out our due diligence, and now we have now completed that.”

Yesterday’s SIEC vote came after more than two years of preparation, which included New Hampshire completing an RFP process that resulted in Rivada Networks being selected last fall as the state’s vendor to build and maintain the alternative RAN within the state’s borders.

“We’ve been in this process since July of 2015. Members of this committee are well-versed on what is happening and what is taking place, and they’re very familiar with both plans. We were able to ascertain the financial information from FirstNet [Wednesday], which allowed us to come to a decision.”

Officially, the SIEC recommendation was delivered to New Hampshire Commissioner of Safety John Barthelmes, who will forward the recommendation to the Gov. Sununu. Documentation supporting the “opt-out” recommendation will be delivered to the governor’s office “over the next week or so, so that the governor is familiar with the process and how both plans were analyzed,” Stevens said.

Sununu thanked the SIEC for its efforts in preparing the recommendation but provided no indication what his ultimate decision will be.

“I would like to thank the SIEC for their hard work in this important process,” Sununu said in a prepared statement. “I will carefully review their recommendation and reach a decision in the near future.”