Governor Eric J. Holcomb today announced that Indiana will opt-in to the nationwide public broadband network deployment plan offered by FirstNet and AT&T. The plan will build modern, high-speed, wireless communication infrastructure for the state’s public safety workers and first responders at no cost to taxpayers.
“Indiana’s first responders need fast, accurate information to keep Hoosiers safe,” Gov. Holcomb said. “This new communications network will help those on the front lines coordinate better and faster to serve and protect our citizens and communities.”
FirstNet was established by federal law in 2012. The law gives states and territories the choice to either opt-in and accept the FirstNet plan allowing AT&T to build the infrastructure at no cost to the state—or opt-out of the FirstNet plan and take-on full responsibility for building and maintaining the infrastructure.
FirstNet worked collaboratively with the state’s Integrated Public Safety Commission (IPSC) to address Indiana’s needs and concerns. Since 2012, IPSC has been traveling the state to educate and gather input and feedback from public safety professionals about the FirstNet plan for Indiana.
“This network will prevent communication difficulties and inefficiencies in times of crisis and confusion,” IPSC Executive Director David Vice said. “Indiana has conducted an unprecedented effort to reach out to public safety officials and decision makers across the state to ensure FirstNet is right for our state.”
For opt-in states, AT&T will build the infrastructure at no cost. Local public safety and first responder entities will pay subscription fees to access the infrastructure. Participation in the network is voluntary.
With Gov. Holcomb’s decision to opt-in to FirstNet, Indiana joins 24 other states—Virginia, Wyoming, Arkansas, Kentucky, Iowa, New Jersey, West Virginia, New Mexico, Michigan, Maine, Montana, Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, Hawaii, Alaska, Tennessee, Nebraska, Maryland, Texas, Minnesota, Alabama, Idaho and Louisiana.