Texas to partner with AT&T, FirstNet in new comm network

Mike Ward | Houston Chronicle

State officials announced Tuesday that Texas will opt-in to a new nationwide broadband network designed to boost the communication abilities of first responders, a move that will help with response to future disasters like Hurricane Harvey.

In announcing that Texas will partner with AT&T and FirstNet Network, the national network created by Congress in 2012, Gov. Greg Abbott said first responders in Texas will be provided with modernized devices, apps and tools “to boost their communication abilities on the job.”

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Texas becomes largest state to make FirstNet ‘opt-in’ decision

Donny Jackson | Urgent Communications

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott today announced that he has accepted the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) deployment plan offered by FirstNet and AT&T on behalf of his state, making Texas the 21st state—not including two territories—to “opt-in” to the FirstNet system.

“The safety and security of Texas communities is my number-one priority, and I want to provide our first responders with the best technology possible,” Abbott said in a prepared statement. “As we saw in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, our first responders are often the last and only hope for safety in rapidly-changing and life-threatening situations, but this partnership with FirstNet and AT&T, allows Texas’s fire, police, EMS and other public-safety personnel to be better equipped when responding in these emergencies.”

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