By Edward Parkinson, FirstNet Director of Government Affairs
Over the last fiscal year, FirstNet accomplished many major milestones, with the most significant being the gains made in the acquisition process for the deployment of the nationwide public safety broadband network.
In January 2016, we released the FirstNet Request for Proposal (RFP) and accepted proposals through May 31, 2016. To date, FirstNet remains in an active procurement and evaluation process, and we expect to award the contract in 2017.
These accomplishments were built on our work with stakeholders in the states, public safety community and industry. The data, input and feedback we received from stakeholders helped to shape an innovative, objectives-based RFP.
Fiscal Year 2016 also saw FirstNet progress as an organization as we moved from a planning phase toward an operational, customer service-oriented entity. This included an expanded consultation and outreach program. Our leadership and staff participated in more than 130 association events with the 43-member PSAC, more than 140 consultation events with the SPOCs, and more than 83 tribal meetings.
FirstNet also was pleased to open the FirstNet Innovation and Test Lab at our technical headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. FirstNet’s state-of-the-art lab will be a “plug and play” environment in which FirstNet and its future private industry partner will test public safety features, devices, and apps before they are deployed on the FirstNet Network.
As we mark the fifth anniversary of the legislation that created FirstNet, we are very proud to review these achievements in our Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Report to Congress.
FirstNet stands on the cusp of completing the acquisition process and moving forward with the deployment of public safety’s network. We look forward to continuing to work hand in hand with the public safety community and the states to deliver for the men and women who protect and serve our nation.
To download FirstNet’s Annual Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2016, click here.