HARRISBURG, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pennsylvania has 70 days to make a decision that will shape emergency communications in the state for the next 25 years or more. And the Commonwealth is in the middle of the process of evaluating alternatives presented to Governor Tom Wolf.
Rivada CEO Declan Ganley and other senior executives are testifying today at a joint hearing of Pennsylvania’s House and Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committees, together with the Senate Communications & Technology Committee. Rivada presented testimony in support of Governor Tom Wolf choosing the Opt-Out FirstNet decision to maximize the FirstNet opportunity for Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Public Safety Broadband Network (CPSBN).
“Pennsylvania is doing the due diligence that every state should do before making this important decision,” Ganley said. “When it comes to public safety communications, ‘Trust us, we’re from Washington,' isn’t enough. Instead, Governor Wolf should take the opportunity he has to negotiate the strongest public-private partnership in the nation.”
Governors have until December 28 to “opt out” of FirstNet’s plan and explore their options for a State-specific public safety network. They then have 180 days to choose an alternative. If they fail to do so, then they revert back to the FirstNet network. “Opting out really is a risk-free way for a State to have six more months to consider its options,” Ganley said. The additional time gives Governors the opportunity to get all the facts and figures from FirstNet and NTIA, and review all aspects of alternate plans submitted to the State for networks intended to provide public safety communications for the next 25 years.
The FirstNet plan transfers revenues, control and decision-making to Washington, and, as Ganley said today, “was sent as a secret document to States considering their options. That document threatens States with massive, punitive and unjustifiable penalties for exercising their right to opt out.”
The Rivada plan keeps Pennsylvania law enforcement and first responders in control of their mission-critical communications systems while retaining hundreds of millions of available revenues and cost-savings.
Financially, the Rivada Pennsylvania plan is far superior to the AT&T national plan:
- Rivada retains Pennsylvania control over the Band 14 spectrum valued at $520 Million in Pennsylvania, which has 7 times more power than LTE to increase rural broadband coverage and penetrate thick buildings, walls, stairways.
- The Rivada plan creates 6,000 more jobs than AT&T, drives economic development across 67 counties.
- At least $168 million in federal grants to Pennsylvania to construct purpose-built Band-14 across 67 counties with 1,162 new towers.
- $383 million potentially stays in Pennsylvania instead of being sent to Washington. The $383 million is used to maintain, operate and improve the system.
- More than $1.14 billion in cost-savings to PA State Police, state agencies, county and local governments due to reduced subscription fees—$0.01/month.
Why one cent? FirstNet requires a fee be charged. While others may charge first responders $40 to $50 dollars per month or more, and offer better rates for bigger departments or favored states, Rivada proposes to charge: one cent.
“Rivada is only charging one cent to ensure cost is not obstacle for first responders to get a dedicated, state-controlled Band 14 network,” continued Declan Ganley. “Following the spirit of the 9/11 Commission Report, Rivada wants Band 14 focused on the needs of all first responders.”
About Rivada Networks
Rivada Networks is a leading designer, integrator and operator of wireless, interoperable communications networks. Its patented technology creates more efficient utilization of LTE networks, enabling both mission-critical-reliability for First Responders and new business models for commercial wireless services (i.e., wholesale, machine-to-machine, Internet of Things, etc.). Rivada has formed a consortium of leading companies to build and operate networks in the U.S. and abroad.