The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) board has approved the framework of FirstNet’s proposed acquisition approach to deploy the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN), and authorized the release of a special notice requesting feedback on draft Request for Proposals (RFP) documents.
The FirstNet board also approved a third public notice seeking further comment on the definition and scope of the term “public safety entity” as used in FirstNet’s enabling legislation. FirstNet Board members underscored the importance of continuing to consult with the public safety community on these items.
“Today’s decisions by the FirstNet Board continue the significant progress FirstNet is achieving toward our goal of implementing the nationwide public safety broadband network,” said FirstNet Chair Sue Swenson. “We look forward to having a meaningful dialog on these two topics with the public safety community, state and local jurisdictions, territories and tribes, and potential offerors to move us along our strategic roadmap toward a final RFP and ultimately the deployment of a dedicated public safety broadband network.”
The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 required FirstNet to conduct an RFP process for the construction, operation, maintenance and improvement of the NPSBN. The FirstNet board adopted Resolution 65, “Special Notice Re: RFP Strategic Framework,” which authorized management to issue the special notice requesting feedback on FirstNet’s draft RFP documents.
FirstNet will ensure there are ongoing opportunities for the states, territories and tribes, public safety community, and market participants to provide input on FirstNet’s acquisition matters. This includes “Industry Day” events that are anticipated to kick off next month to foster stakeholder participation and feedback early in the process.
FirstNet decided to start by releasing the draft RFPdocuments to maximize input for the RFP later in the year from state and local jurisdictions, territories and tribes, the public safety community, market participants and all interested parties on critical tenets of its proposed acquisition strategy, including but not limited to:
- Engaging in a performance based acquisition;
- Period of performance; and
- Leveraging market forces to achieve the best value for public safety entities by competing regional and/or national approaches to procuring the network.
“We want to move quickly to create multiple avenues and opportunities for the states, territories and tribes, public safety community, and potential industry partners to engage in a dialogue with FirstNet about how to deploy this network,” said Acting Executive Director TJ Kennedy. “Having an iterative approach that involves public safety early and often in the process will lead us to produce the best possible RFP to help ensure the ultimate network solution works for the public safety community, FirstNet and its industry partners.”