The First Responder Network Authority has awarded AT&T (NYSE: T) a potential $6.5 billion contract to build a national public safety broadband network for first responders under a 25-year public-private partnership.
AT&T will invest approximately $40 billion to develop, field and maintain the national wireless network over the next 25 years and link FirstNet users to the firm’s telecommunications network, the Commerce Department said Thursday.
FirstNet will free up 20 megahertz of telecommunications spectrum and provide AT&T $6.5 billion in funds over five years to support the network’s deployment.
The Federal Communications Commission raised the funds for FirstNet through previous spectrum auctions.
“FirstNet is unprecedented in its vision, scope and importance to our nation and the future of public safety communications,” said Kay Kapoor, president of AT&T’s global public sector solutions business.
“We’re honored to be selected for this historic and critical initiative,” Kapoor added.
The national broadband network project will create at least 10,000 jobs and cover all 50 states, Washington, D.C., five U.S. territories, tribal lands and rural communities.
FirstNet awarded the contract more than a year after it issued a request for proposals for the project.