HOUSTON, TX – The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board today approved the Request for Proposal (RFP) to deploy the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN) and directed management to take all necessary actions to release the RFP in early January. The Board’s approval advances FirstNet's Strategic Program Roadmap and moves FirstNet a step closer to establishing a public-private partnership to build, operate, and maintain the NPSBN.
“This is a landmark day for FirstNet and public safety,” said FirstNet Chair Sue Swenson. “By approving the RFP, the Board has taken a major step forward to deliver a mission-critical network that first responders deserve – one that is dedicated to public safety, is secure, sustainable, and will continuously utilize state of the art technology across America.”
FirstNet Vice Chair Jeff Johnson said, “We engaged in an open and transparent process to develop this RFP from the start and met our goal of completing it by the end of the year. I commend the Board and FirstNet staff for their dedication. I also recognize the valuable contributions of our stakeholders who provided us with feedback every step of the way,” Johnson said. “FirstNet is looking forward to receiving competitive offerings from industry to build the network.”
The FirstNet RFP is objectives based and incorporates public safety’s needs for a nationwide broadband network. Central to this approach, FirstNet issued multiple Requests for Information, Public Notices, and Special Notices for public comment. FirstNet also collected vital stakeholder feedback on the RFP documents through consultation and outreach with public safety partners nationwide.
“This is truly a public-private partnership model,” said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth. “With this model, FirstNet achieves operational sustainability and public safety receives the network and services it so deserves.”
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 authorized 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).