Governor Chris Sununu Statement on FirstNet
Concord, NH – "Over the past two years the state of New Hampshire has led the country during the FirstNet process in evaluating the technical feasibility and risk management aspects of the country's new national public safety communication system. New Hampshire was given two options: to 'opt-in' and choose the national contractor AT&T's plan or 'opt-out' and go with an alternative plan proposed by Rivada. Following our decision to opt-out and go with the Rivada plan that provides better coverage, more system control and an opportunity to share in the revenue streams of the business, we proceeded to have extensive discussions with other Governors across the country to help them understand the benefits of such a system. Many of these states had previously expressed serious interest in pursuing an independent opt-out path. While we were successful in working with First Net to remove the unreasonable fees and penalties, the decision deadline of December 28th approached too quickly for these other states to feel confident in an opt-out decision. As a result, it now appears likely that no other states will opt-out." "While Rivada's plan remains the better option for New Hampshire, I have determined that the additional risk associated with being the only state to opt-out creates too high a barrier for New Hampshire to continue down the opt-out path alone."
"Through this entire process New Hampshire has been able to maintain strategic leverage and ensure that the alternative AT&T proposal was one of the best in the country. By moving to opt-in today, New Hampshire will retain AT&T's commitment to build 48 new tower sites across the state. These new sites will lead to a top quality public safety network for our first responders and enhanced coverage for all of our citizens. I look forward to working with AT&T as they begin the build out and deployment of their New Hampshire plan, and I pledge to continue our efforts to ensure that FirstNet remains responsive to the public safety needs of every state."
Safety Commissioner John Barthelmes and State Interoperability Coordinator John Stevens also commented on today's opt-in decision.
"It is unfortunate that the Federal Government did not provide states with sufficient clarity in time for most states to adequately evaluate their options," said Commissioner Barthelmes. "Because New Hampshire started early and conducted a thorough evaluation of both paths, we were presented with a strong opt-out plan that strengthened the State's negotiating position. I want to thank Rivada again for their efforts in developing an incredible plan for New Hampshire, and wish them all the best in their future endeavors."
"I am immensely proud of the extraordinary efforts of the SIEC and our entire State team throughout this process," John Stevens said. "Together we conducted the nation's most thorough state level review of available FirstNet options, negotiated hard on behalf of the State and its first responders, and ultimately obtained one of the best opt-in plan proposals of any state in the country. While we are disappointed that the regulatory and financial hurdles for opt-out ultimately proved too high, we are pleased that the State's vigorous pursuit of the opt-out path left us in a stronger position than any other state in the country."