- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 15, 2017

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas has joined 13 other states in an interstate communications network that allows public safety agencies to communicate across jurisdictions during emergencies.

Gov. Sam Brownback announced Tuesday that the state has joined the First Responder Network Authority - FirstNet - and AT&T;, which will build the statewide broadband network.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Brownback said FirstNet would help in emergencies and natural disasters such as the wildfires, tornadoes and ice storms. He said opting into the program allows the state to have the network without incurring any of the costs.

AT&T; president Mike Scott said the company would build another 26 towers across the state and add capacity to its existing network towers.

FirstNet CEO Mike Poth said the federal government would contribute $7 billion to the project.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com

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