((This Dec. 29 story corrects a typo in the headline))
In March, the U.S. government awarded a contract to AT&T to build the network, years after a federal commission recommended setting up such a system following the 9/11 attacks.
States had until Thursday to opt out of AT&T’s network and build their own public safety networks. In addition to the states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands also opted for FirstNet, AT&T said. Decisions from the three Pacific territories of American Samoa, Guam and Northern Mariana Islands are not due until March 12, 2018.
Wall Street analysts have said FirstNet is a way for AT&T to add to its portfolio of wireless airwaves, or spectrum, at a time when consumers are using more data on their cell phones. The company can use the spectrum it receives from the U.S. government to provide more network capacity for wireless customers when it is not in use by emergency responders.
Reporting by Anjali Athavaley; Editing by Susan Thomas
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