N.H. Becomes 1st State to Opt Out of National First Responder Network
New Hampshire has become the first state to opt out of FirstNet - a federal program designed to help first responders better communicate across the country.
Governor Chris Sununu announced Thursday that the state will be pursuing an alternative plan with Rivada Networks, rather than the chosen AT&T provider listed under the FirstNet plan.
In a written statement, Sununu said Rivada has the potential to provide “unmatched and near universal coverage” for first responders.
More than thirty states so far have chosen the AT&T plan, including Vermont. All 50 states must decide by Dec 28th.
Sununu’s decision mirrors a unanimous vote by the state’s FirstNet Opt-Out Review Committee in October.
Bruce Cheney used to run the state’s 911 system. He says Rivada is a start up and he isn't convinced it's up for the job.
“If this fails for any reason there are estimates that run in some cases up into the hundreds of millions of dollars. It will come out of taxpayers’ pockets to fix the problem," he said. "It’s all sort of a promise and a prayer.”
The contract still isn't finalized. It needs to get final approval from the Executive Council before it's official.