A critical step toward moving on procurement to complete the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network as soon as possible was announced Tuesday by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).
During what was described as a “special meeting,” the FirstNet Board unanimously passed Resolution 84 authorizing the FirstNet CEO to take all actions necessary to ensure the timely award of the network contract.
Prior to the meeting, the FirstNet Board, in accordance with FirstNet’s enabling statute, completed its review of the acquisition approach and the request for proposal(s) (RFP) process to identify a partner to build, operate and maintain the network.
“This is a significant milestone for FirstNet and for the public safety community,” said FirstNet Chair Sue Swenson. “We are bringing the procurement to the finish line and soon will be forming an innovative public-private partnership to deploy the Network.”
FirstNet’s mission is to deliver a nationwide broadband network dedicated to public safety to help strengthen their emergency communications abilities, making them safer and more effective on the job. A new, innovative public-private partnership will be established to deploy the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network. The network will provide law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics and other emergency service personnel a reliable, redundant, resilient, and secure connection to carry high-speed data, location information, images and video.
“I want to thank the board for this important decision, which is a critical step in finalizing the network procurement,” said CEO Mike Poth. “Upon award, FirstNet will immediately start work on delivering this network to public safety and fulfilling our promise to them.”
Tuesday’s action followed “a number of steps FirstNet has taken over the past several months to ready the organization for a public-private partnership to deploy the network,” FirstNet said.
These actions included:
- In June, FirstNet moved to become a more operational and customer-focused organization by creating its Chief Customer Office (CCO) and the Network Program Office (NPO);
- In August, the board approved the Fiscal Year 2017 budget, which obligated $6.5 billion to support the award of the network contract;
- At the December 2016 board meeting, FirstNet announced its readiness for a partnership and unveiled its plan for the first three months post-award to guide progress with the future network partner; and
- Recently, FirstNet worked with the Department of Justice to successfully resolve a protest action regarding the acquisition process for the network.