Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross made a recent announcement in which he confirmed that the telecom giant, AT&T has just won a $6.5 billion contract for establishing the best internet service in the country. The FirstNet contract is actually a 25-year accord for building a new nationwide public safety broadband wireless network.
The government had earlier agreed to offer $6.5 billion to cover the construction cost of the project over a period of 5 years. Yet as per the recent contract, FirstNet will also be paying an amount of $6.5 billion to the telecom company for building the wireless network.
However, reports from several reliable sources claim that the cost of building the proposed network will be a lot more than $6.5 billion. The officials from AT&T recently stated that the telecom company would be investing approximately $40 billion into the wireless network over twenty-five years.
Ross said, “FirstNet is a critical infrastructure project that will give our first responders the communications tools they need to keep America safe and secure. This public-private partnership will also spur innovation and create over 10,000 new jobs in this cutting-edge sector.”
AT&T will be building the wireless network with the primary purpose of offering safety to the public. However, reports indicate that the unused capacity on this specific wireless network will be shared with AT&T customers. AT&T Chairman and CEO, Randall Stephenson said, “This is an unprecedented public-private investment in infrastructure that makes America a leader and public safety a national priority.”
The teams from AT&T, who will be working on the new wireless network project, include Inmarsat Government, Sapient Consulting, General Dynamics, and Motorola Solutions. The award to AT&T did not come as a surprise, because they were the last company standing when the authorities from FirstNet informed the other two remaining bidders that they were not being considered any longer.
The first envision for the proposed wireless network happened right after the 9/11 attacks. Many first responders from several jurisdictions and departments were unable to communication through radio during this time. The telecom giant also stated that about 10,000 networks are used for voice communications. AT&T is also tasked with the duty of bringing individual states to the wireless network.
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