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Venable partner Jamie Barnett was quoted in an April 15, 2016 Communications Daily article on the likelihood that small wireless carriers will play a role in FirstNet. Barnett said it is "conventional wisdom" that a major carrier will play a significant role in FirstNet and noted that the FCC concluded that "being able to leverage existing networks would be very important." He said "an FCC cost model first came up with the figure of $7 billion as the cost of building a network past where the commercial network would go. That $7 billion was adopted by Congress as the total upfront funding for FirstNet."

Barnett added, "It’s difficult to say how big a role smaller carriers will play in the network. If the prime is an integrator rather than a carrier, it makes sense that smaller wireless carriers would play an even larger role."