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Idaho opts into national public safety broadband network

The Idaho Statehouse.

The Idaho Statehouse. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has signed a letter authorizing Idaho to participate in a first responder network that allows public safety agencies to communicate across jurisdictions in emergencies. Photo by Liz Patterson.

Idaho has joined 20 other states in an interstate communications network that allows public safety agencies to communicate across jurisdictions during emergencies.

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter announced the week of Sept. 18 that he had signed a letter for Idaho to participate in the First Responder Network Authority, known as FirstNet.

FirstNet, in partnership with AT&T, will build, operate and maintain a secure wireless broadband communications network for Idaho’s public safety community at no cost to the state. It’s expected to boost broadband access in rural areas.

Otter said it is in Idaho’s best interest to participate in the network.

FirstNet was created in 2012. It followed a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission that a dedicated nationwide broadband network be created to help public safety agencies communicate during large-scale emergencies.

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