The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) today issued its Request for Proposals (RFP) for the deployment of the nationwide public safety broadband network, marking a major step forward in FirstNet’s efforts to modernize communications for first responders and other public safety personnel across the U.S.
“We have developed this RFP in an open forum to create a ‘first of its kind’ public-private partnership for the network,” said FirstNet Chief Executive Officer Mike Poth. “As we move into the next phase of the process, we look forward to receiving competitive offerings to deliver the best possible network for public safety.”
The release of the RFP follows more than a year of dialogue with public safety and industry on the objectives and scope of the RFP for the FirstNet network. The build-up to the release has included 13 Requests for Information, a set of draft RFP documents, two Industry Day public events, answers to more than 650 questions related to network specifications, and meetings with interested vendors.
FirstNet has also conducted a comprehensive consultation and outreach program to engage with the states, territories, federal agencies, tribal governments, and the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) in the RFP development process.
“This is an opportunity to revolutionize how first responders do their job, and we appreciate the valuable public safety feedback we have received to make this happen,” said FirstNet President TJ Kennedy. “FirstNet is thrilled to issue an RFP that will promote innovation and deliver the best value to the public safety community.”
With the release today, proposals to the RFP will be due April 29, 2016, with questions and capability statements due February 12 and March 17, respectively. FirstNet will review and consider all responses submitted and anticipates making an award in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Also today, FirstNet announced that it will conduct a public webinar on Friday, January 15 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST to review key RFP elements with interested parties, including states, tribes, territories, public safety stakeholders, and market participants. The webinar will be available on FirstNet’s website, with a link to the event webpage from the FirstNet’s homepage.
FirstNet has been obligated by Congress to take all actions necessary to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of the nationwide public safety broadband network for local, state, regional, tribal, and federal first responders and other public safety personnel. FirstNet is an independent authority established by Congress in 2012 that is governed by a 15-member Board that consists of the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Attorney General of the United States, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and 12 members appointed by the Secretary of Commerce composed of representatives from public safety, government, and the wireless industry. (www.firstnet.gov)