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Missouri this week became the 34th state to opt into the FirstNet first responder network.

AT&T, the federal contractor for the network, announced Gov. Eric Greitens' decision after Missouri officials evaluated proposals from FirstNet and competing bidders.

Officials from FirstNet said that their discussions with Missouri included expanding wireless coverage — particularly in rural areas — and allocating network assets that could be deployed as needed to support public safety.

First responders in the state received immediate access to AT&T's existing LTE network and will be granted pre-emption over that network by the end of the year.

"Governor Greitens' decision to opt-in to FirstNet is the right choice for our state and for our first responders," Missouri Director of Public Safety Charles Juden said in a statement Monday. "We are pleased to work with AT&T and FirstNet to ensure that the public safety community gets to use and benefit from the latest technological innovations."

Fifteen states must determine whether to opt into FirstNet or consider alternate proposals by Dec. 28. New Hampshire last week became the first state to indicate that it would reject FirstNet in favor of a network built by Rivada Networks.

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