The FirstNet RFP outlined objectives for the FirstNet Network over the first five years in the areas of coverage and capacity, network infrastructure, as well as services and applications. The deployment timeline phases are distinguished by milestones for initial operational capabilities (IOCs) and a final operational capability (FOC). AT&T’s solution met all RFP objectives, and exceeded the rural coverage milestones by leveraging its current commercial nationwide network coverage. 

While the IOC/FOC deployment timeline defines network objectives during the first five years, FirstNet expects the Network will continue to evolve to meet new public safety needs, improve coverage and capacity, and implement new technologies throughout its 25 year contract with AT&T.

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March 30, 2017

Contract Award

  • FirstNet awarded AT&T a 25-year, $100 billion contract on March 30, 2017 to design, build and deploy the FirstNet nationwide public safety broadband network. See Partner Award for more information.

By September 30, 2017


  • FirstNet launches the State Plan Portal for the release of state plans for each state and territory. See State Plan Process for more.
  • FirstNet releases state plans for the deployment of each state/territory radio access network (RAN) that connects to the FirstNet core. See LTE Overview for more about the FirstNet core and state RANs. Service available for primary and extended primary users. See QPP for more on user types and Pricing for current rate plans.
  • AT&T provides nationwide non-Band 14 coverage via its commercial network, exceeding rural milestone requirements. AT&T also provides priority for FirstNet users on all its commercial LTE bands. See QPP for more on quality of service, priority and preemption.
  • FirstNet launches the FirstNet App Catalog of vetted apps and software solutions.
  • FirstNet launches its app developer program.
  • FirstNet launches Local Control Portal for management of services, users and devices, as well as network status and reporting.
  • Mobile satellite services available. Read about the FirstNet solution to learn more about available services.

By March 30, 2018


  • FirstNet implements a dedicated public safety network core, enabling three tiers of user priority.
  • FirstNet launches dedicated security operations center and 24/7/365 network monitoring and customer service desk.
  • Uplift functionality and Preemption services become available. See QPP for more on quality of service, priority and preemption.
  • AT&T begins deployment of Band 14 and new site builds in opt-in states.
  • Initial Band 14 Satellite Cell on Light Truck (SatCOLT) deployables become available.
  • AT&T subscriber paid plans become available for volunteer users. See QPP for more on user types and Pricing for current rate plans.

By March 30, 2019


  • FirstNet implements new public safety features, including Enhanced Voice over LTE (VoLTE) with Priority, high definition and Wi-Fi voice calling and standards-based priority for text messaging. 
  • QPP Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) available for developers.
  • By March 30, 2020


  • FirstNet implements standards-based push-to-talk (PTT) with direct mode operations.
  • By March 30, 2021


  • AT&T completes 95% of Band 14 expansion and new site construction per state new site build plans.
  • By March 30, 2022


    • AT&T completes contractual Band 14 expansion and new site construction for first five years. 
    • New features become available, including Next Generation Location Based Services (LBS) with elevation position information, broadcast services, and machine-to-machine Internet of Things (IoT) support.