Governor signs executive order establishing a FirstNet Opt-Out Review Committee

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CONCORD, NH – Governor Chris Sununu on Oct. 16 issued the following statement after signing an executive order establishing the FirstNet Opt-Out Review Committee, which will be tasked with reviewing the regulatory and financial risks to the State of New Hampshire associated with the pursuit of an opt-out plan. [See executive order below.]

“New Hampshire’s Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC) has determined from a technical standpoint that an opt-out of FirstNet is far and away our best option, as evidenced by their unanimous 15-0 vote. The State must nevertheless conduct a thorough review of the financial and regulatory viability of Rivada’s opt-out plan. As part of this review, we will seek clarification of certain proposed fees, as well as clarification of penalties that may be imposed by FirstNet if an opt-out were to fail. These fees and penalties appear to be arbitrary and primarily designed to deter states from opting out of FirstNet plans. That is why I am calling on key officials at the federal level to assist us as we examine the numbers released by FirstNet and to ensure that states are being afforded their right to make their decisions with correct information.

“New Hampshire is proudly on the forefront of national safety infrastructure. In the coming days I will be sending a letter to my fellow Governors which will encourage all states considering their options to pause and lean on us as New Hampshire seeks clarifications and answers that every state can benefit from.”



About FirstNet NH (from the State of NH website

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is an independent organization within the US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Signed into law in 2012, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act created FirstNet. The law gives FirstNet the mission to build, operate and maintain the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. FirstNet will provide a single interoperable platform for emergency and daily public safety communications.

The FirstNet network will improve citizen and responder safety and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency response through cutting edge broadband communications. Imagine a day when a single communications network can be used to dispatch EMS personnel, a medical helicopter, police officers, and fire personnel from different jurisdictions all at the same time, utilizing voice, video, and data at broadband speeds.

FirstNet’s goal is to provide public safety‐grade reliability and nationwide coverage so all public safety personnel can count on the network when they are on the job. Public safety personnel using the FirstNet network will be able to share applications, access databases, and provide better informed responses to incidents through integrated communications. FirstNet is also aiming to provide coverage solutions that let public safety “take the network along” to the destination in certain geographies. FirstNet will create a nationwide standard of service while affording localized customization and control.

FirstNet’s goal is to provide public safety‐grade reliability and nationwide coverage so all public safety personnel can count on the network when they are on the job. Public safety personnel using the FirstNet network will be able to share applications, access databases, and provide better informed responses to incidents through integrated communications. FirstNet is also aiming to provide coverage solutions that let public safety “take the network along” to the destination in certain geographies. FirstNet will create a nationwide standard of service while affording localized customization and control.

When the FirstNet network launches, it will provide mission‐critical, high‐speed data services to supplement the voice capabilities of today’s Land Mobile Radio (LMR) networks. Initially, the FirstNet network will be used for sending data, video, images and text. The FirstNet network will also carry location information and eventually support streaming video. FirstNet plans to offer cellular voice communications such as Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) or other alternatives.

The potential public safety user community in New Hampshire and nationwide is vast and diverse, including:

  • Law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, E911
  • State, county, regional and tribal government agencies
  • Coast Guard, National Guard and FEMA
  • Hospitals, LifeFlight, ambulatory contracted services
  • Red Cross, and Salvation Army