Utah to Transform Communications for Public Safety; Gov. Herbert Approves Build-out Plan for First Responder Network

First-of-its-Kind Solution Will Create Jobs, Spur Investment and Modernize Public Safety Communications across Utah

Utah is modernizing communication technology for its first responders. This week, Governor Gary Herbert announced his decision to accept the FirstNet and AT&T* plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the state's public safety community. The FirstNet network will bring advanced tools to help Utah's first responders save lives and protect communities.

"Utah is pleased to join other states in working with FirstNet to deploy the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network," said Governor Herbert. "First responders need to have the most advanced and reliable communication technology so they can access critical information, respond efficiently, and coordinate efforts. The FirstNet plan and associated technology will give Utah and the nation the necessary tools to maximize public safety."

AT&T, in a public-private partnership with FirstNet, will build, operate and maintain a highly secure wireless broadband communications network for Utah's public safety community at no cost to the state. The FirstNet network will drive innovation and create an entire system of modernized devices, apps and tools for first responders.


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"Reliable communications are critical to the safety and success of first responders and the public," said Chief Tom Ross, President of the Utah Chiefs of Police Association. "During emergencies networks get clogged because people are simultaneously trying to communicate. We are excited that FirstNet will establish a dedicated network that prioritizes first responders' communications."

FirstNet will transform the way Utah's fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel communicate and share information. Specifically, it will:


Connect first responder subscribers to the critical information they need in a highly secure manner when handling day-to-day operations, responding to emergencies and supporting Utah's growing convention and event business sectors and large events like the Sundance Film Festival in Park City that attracted more than 70,000 attendees in 2017.


Create an efficient communications experience for public safety personnel in agencies and jurisdictions across the state during natural disasters like the Brian Head fires of 2017.


Enhance network coverage in Utah's rural areas and across the state, benefitting first responders and residents alike. This increased coverage will help connect first responders to the modern communications tools FirstNet will bring.


Provide first responders with access to dedicated network assets that can be deployed for additional coverage and support when needed.


Drive infrastructure investments and create jobs across the state.


FirstNet and AT&T designed Utah's network solution with direct input from the state's public safety community. FirstNet has been meeting with Utah's officials and public safety personnel for several years to address their unique communication needs. These include enhanced coverage in rural areas across the state and access to competitively priced services.

"Governor Herbert's decision to make Utah the 31st state or territory to join FirstNet shows his dedication to improving public safety," said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth. "We look forward to delivering the reliable, secure communications Utah's first responders need over the only wireless network purpose-built for them."

This decision enables FirstNet and AT&T to begin creating an entirely new wireless ecosystem for public safety communications. Utah's first responder subscribers will have immediate access to quality of service and priority to voice and data across the existing nationwide AT&T LTE network.

Preemption for primary users over the AT&T LTE network is expected by year-end. This means fire, police, EMS and other public safety workers will have dedicated access to the network when and where they need it — 24/7/365, like their mission.

We have worked closely with Governor Herbert, his staff and the review team convened by the Utah Communications Authority to make sure that the FirstNet network built in Utah will meet the needs of Utah's public safety community. We're honored to have the opportunity to serve Utah's first responders and look forward to collaborating with state, local and public safety leadership as we implement FirstNet.

For more information on FirstNet, please visit FirstNet.gov/mediakit and att.com/FirstResponderNews. For more about the value FirstNet will bring to public safety, please visit FirstNet.com.


Tara Thue
External & Legislative Affairs Director — AT&T Utah

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Tara Thue is the president of AT&T Mountain West States. In this role, Tara leads all external, governmental and public affairs for AT&T in Idaho, Montana and Utah.

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