The First Responder Network AuthorityÂ 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 firmâs 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 networkâs deployment.
The Federal Communications Commission raised the funds for FirstNet through previous spectrum auctions.
AT&T said it will collaborate with General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), Inmarsatâs government business, Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI) and Sapient ConsultingÂ on the project.
“FirstNet is unprecedented in its vision, scope and importance to our nation and the future of public safety communications,” said Kay Kapoor,Â president of AT&T’s global public sector solutions business.
“Weâre 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.