AT&T recently won a multi-billion dollar contract to build FirstNet, a network for first responders, but Verizon isn’t conceding the market. The communications provider said Wednesday it would build its own network for emergency service providers.

“We stand with the public safety officials that keep our cities, communities and neighborhoods safe,” said John Stratton, Verizon executive vice president and president of global operations. “Support for public safety is in our company’s DNA and our commitment to them never waivers.”

Verizon says it already has contracts with some two thirds of the market for police, fire and first responders.

“We’re serious about remaining extremely relevant in this space,” Michael Maiorana, a Verizon senior vice president who oversees the effort, told Fox News

AT&T was awarded a $6.5 billion contract through the U.S. Department of Commerce to create FirstNet. AT&T also said it would commit $40 billion to the nation-wide network.

So far, 13 states (not including North Carolina) have committed to become FirstNet participants.

“Verizon’s public safety network solution does not require that states opt-out of FirstNet, does not require access to any federal funding provided to FirstNet, and does not require any financial commitment from states to support network deployment,” the company said. It also will bear the cost of creating the network.

No investment total was disclosed.

Verizon said it was “responding to requests from public safety agencies” in deciding to build its own wireless network supported by its own 4G LTE infrastructure.

Verizon declared it would:

  • Build and operate our own private network core dedicated to public safety communications. The network core manages and directs all communications functions, like network access and call routing. The dedicated public safety core will operate separately from our commercial core and provide first responders with access to the company’s 2.4 million square mile 4G LTE network.
  • Make priority access and preemption services available to public safety when necessary and at no charge.
  • Invest in new mission-critical 4G LTE voice communications to complement existing services such as Push-to-Talk Plus. PTT Plus already includes interoperability with existing Land Mobile Radio networks.