Wyoming Commits to FirstNet

Wyoming has become the second state—after Virginia—to sign on to the national framework for FirstNet, the interoperable emergency communications network.

"The State of Wyoming has participated in FirstNet consultation and outreach activities throughout the planning of the network and reviewed the details of the FirstNet State Plan," wrote Governor Matthew Mead. "I have determined that it is in the best interest of Wyoming to participate in the FirstNet deployment of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network."

FirstNet says some of the benefits to the state include infrastructure investment and better broadband coverage in rural areas.

Related: AT&T Joins Internet Action Day

It was only about six weeks ago that the Department of Commerce (FirstNet is an independent authority within Commerce) announced AT&T had been awarded the multi-billion-dollar, 25-year contract to build and maintain FirstNet, the interoperable first responder public safety network proposed by the 911 Commission well over a decade ago following communication failures during the attack's tragic aftermath.

The network was funded through FCC's AWS-3 spectrum auction.

States can submit alternative plans for deploying emergency communications, but they must be interoperable with the FirstNet national plan.

(Photo via First Responder Network Authority’s Flickr. Image uploaded on Feb. 16, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 16x9 aspect ratio.)

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.