FirstNet RFP released

The final request for proposals for a nationwide, wireless, interoperable broadband communications network for first responders has been issued after a year of dialogue with public safety and industry leaders on its objectives and scope.

The RFP, which was released on Jan. 13, has over 50 sections, maps and tables. To develop the proposal, FirstNet issued 13 requests for information and a series of draft RFPs, convened two public industry days, answered more than 650 questions related to network specifications, and met with interested vendors before crafting the final RFP.

According to the RFP's statement of objectives, the winning bidder will build and operate the system with 20 MHz of 700 MHz broadband spectrum under a lease agreement. In return, the company can monetize any unused network capacity.

The RFP also has a section on cybersecurity that incorporates input from industry and public safety officials in response to a special notice FirstNet released last October, FirstNet spokesman Ryan Oremland told FCW, GCN’s sister site.

At least one federal agency has expressed interest in using the network. Department of Homeland Security Deputy CIO Margie Graves and Customs and Border Protection CTO Wolf Tombe said last January that FirstNet is just one of the emerging mobile communications technologies DHS is seeking to exploit.

Questions about the RFP must be submitted by Feb. 12. Capability statements are due by March 17, and proposals are due by April 29. FirstNet officials said they expect to award the contract in the fourth quarter of 2016. Agency personnel will go over the details of the complex document in a webinar on Jan. 15 from 1 to 3 p.m.

This article originally appeared on FCW, a sister site to GCN.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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