FirstNet Board Approves Draft RFP Documents, Third Public Notice with Emphasis on Continued Public Safety Consultation

For Immediate Release: April 24, 2015
Media Contact: Ryan Oremland (703) 648-4114 or (202) 770-5761; ryan.oremland@firstnet.gov

RESTON, VA – The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board today 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.

Also at today’s special meeting, the Board approved a third Public Notice (Third 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 (Act) requires FirstNet to conduct an RFP process for the construction, operation, maintenance, and improvement of the NPSBN. Today, the FirstNet Board adopted Resolution 65, “Special Notice Re: RFP Strategic Framework,” which authorizes 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 RFP documents 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
  • 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.”

FirstNet is finalizing the Special Notice with draft RFP documents to reflect the Board’s decisions today and plans to release them on Monday, April 27 with responses due within 90 days. The documents will be posted via Federal Business Opportunities on fbo.gov (Reference Number: D15PS00295).

FirstNet will post a pre-publication version of the Third Notice on its website today. The comment period for the Third Notice will be 30 days, which will begin after publication of the notice in the Federal Register.

About FirstNet
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. FirstNet is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. FirstNet is governed by a 15-member Board consisting 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).
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