Calley signs agreement for Michigan to be early adopter in nationwide public safety broadband network

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley last Thursday signed a letter for Michigan to opt-in to the First Responder Network Authority, known as FirstNet, bringing an advanced wireless broadband network to the state's public safety community.

FirstNet, in partnership with AT&T, will build, operate and maintain a highly secure wireless broadband communications network for Michigan's public safety community at no cost to the state for the next 25 years. In addition to benefits for public safety agencies, the enhanced network will provide LTE broadband opportunities in many of the state's rural, underserved communities such as the Upper Peninsula.

"This initiative puts Michigan at the forefront once again for public safety and public service," Calley said. "The ability for public safety agencies to communicate is critical in an emergency. The enhanced capabilities offered by FirstNet and AT&T will help ensure that those risking their lives for our safety have the tools they need. This effort also will enhance the availability of broadband service across many rural areas of the state, something that Governor Snyder and I continue to focus on as a priority for Michigan residents."

The decision to join FirstNet was reached after three years of discussions with public safety officials throughout Michigan. Input was gathered and compiled to determine the unique needs for a public safety broadband network in the geographically diverse state.

"Much of the state of Michigan is rural in nature and presents many communication challenges," said Michigan State Police Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue. "Effective and robust communication capabilities are critical to all public safety officials and the citizens we serve."

FirstNet was created by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 following a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission to create a dedicated public safety interoperable, nationwide mobile broadband network to enable continued communication during a disaster or other large-scale event.

"Michigan issued a comprehensive RFP, and the governor and lieutenant governor ultimately decided that FirstNet and AT&T are best positioned to deliver the coverage, value and experience that the state's public safety community expects," said Jim Murray, president of AT&T Michigan. "It's an honor to serve Michigan's fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel. It's our mission to help these brave men and women carry out their important mission."

As a requirement of the enabling legislation, the governor of each state and territory received a state plan detailing the deployment of the FirstNet network in their jurisdiction and had to make a choice to opt-in to the FirstNet plan or build, operate and maintain a network on their own. Michigan reviewed all the options and proposals available before deciding to move forward with the FirstNet system.

Article V Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution gives authority to the lieutenant governor to act as governor when the governor is out of state.

For more information about FirstNet, visit

Published: Mon, Aug 07, 2017