All 50 U.S. states are to be part of AT&T's first responder network according to the nation's second largest wireless carrier, who recently highlighted that it had brought every state on board to be part of the government-contracted network that is being built and designed to be used for public safety. The project, known as FirstNet, is not only an ambitious one but a project which will take quite a bit of time to complete, as AT&T plans to spend a total of $40 billion over the next 25 years to construct and maintain the network.
Part of that money comes within the first five years from now. AT&T has already been awarded the government contract to build out the FirstNet public safety network and part of that is receiving payments or a five year time frame that will amount to a total of $6.5 Billion, though it is worth mentioning that all payments for that amount are based on success, so it stands to reason that if AT&T is less than successful with this network project down the line then those payments would likely stop. All 50 states that are now included and have decided to participate in the network were required to decide by yesterday, and although it's now being reported that all 50 states are going to be included, just back in the beginning of December it was reported that New Hampshire had decided to opt out, which means that it must have changed its decision between then and now to be included with all the other states.
In addition to the 50 U.S. states, it's also reported that Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have also opted in, and three Pacific territories which include the Marina Islands, Guam, and American Samoa may opt in as well, though those three territories aren't required to give their decision to opt in or out until March 12th of next year. The government contract for the FirstNet project network was awarded to AT&T back in March of this year, and the process to gain opt-ins for the network has taken some time as it wasn't until September that AT&T had noted it had 20 opt-ins.