Verizon Continues to Pitch Public Safety Net

Verizon continues to pitch its planned core public safety network as states continue to sign up for the state framework for the AT&T FirstNet network created by Congress after 9/11.

FirstNet has signed up 40 states and territories for the interoperable broadband network, but Verizon continues to talk to some of the states that have not yet opted in to FirstNet--they still have until the end of the month.

Verizon also points out in a blog this week that public safety officials can still opt for Verizon's net even in states that have agreed to join FirstNet.

One state where they are still not competing for the network is California. "We elected not to bid due to the onerous conditions they were forced to include in their RFP based on the requirements included in the draft FirstNet [framework]," said a Verizon spokesman. "we're talking with some of the remaining states," he added, though would not identify which.

But in blog post Michael Maiorana, SVP Verizon Enterprise Solutions, public sector, was pitching the company's California public safety bona fides.

"We’re right here where we’ve always been, running to a crisis behind first responders in California as they battle yet another wave of wildfires, providing mobile network assets and other ruggedized communications equipment to help them do their jobs," he wrote.

"And we’ll still be here next year and on, as we launch our dedicated public safety network and continue to support public safety with reliable communications and an array of innovative products, services and applications. This isn’t a new marketplace for us – this is what we do."

As to the FirstNet states, Verizon isn't conceding those.

"Regardless of whether or not a state opts-in or opts-out of FirstNet, the individual public service agencies within those states can still choose the communications provider they want to work with," said the spokesman. "Many of them are already our customers and we plan to continue to support them and be their provider of choice for as long as they'll have us."

RELATED: House Kicks Tires on FirstNet Progress

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.