Court Rules in Favor of FirstNet in Protest Case
How Will Politics Affect the Industry?
The first deadline came Dec. 5, when the government filed its administrative record, which outlines the decision-making process FirstNet took in reviewing proposals in the contract award process. The administrative record is not accessible to the public under a protection order intended to protect proprietary and other sensitive information involved in the case.
About three weeks later, Dec. 23, Rivada Mercury filed a motion for judgment on the administrative record as required by the case’s schedule. The Jan. 19 deadline was for responses to Rivada’s motion and cross motions by the government and AT&T, which received court approval to intervene in the case.
A motion for judgment on the administrative record was filed Jan. 19, but it’s unclear if that motion was filed just by the government or AT&T as well because of the protection order.
Both the Dec. 23 and Jan. 19 filings are sealed under the protection order. A few procedural documents are publicly accessible, but most of the files for the case are sealed.
On Feb. 2, a response to the government and/or AT&T motion by Rivada Mercury is due, with a similar response from the government and AT&T due Feb. 16.
In a Nov. 29 scheduling order, Judge Elaine D. Kaplan said she will schedule any oral arguments on the motions in a future order. Another scheduling order has not been released.
Rivada Mercury filed its protest with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (UCFC) in late November, alleging that the Department of Interior (DOI), which issued the NPSBN request for proposals (RFP) on behalf of FirstNet, had unlawfully decided to exclude its proposal from the competitive range for the contract award.
Attorneys from the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division are representing FirstNet and the federal government in the case.
Of the three companies that publicly announced they had submitted bids for the RFP, AT&T is the only one remaining in the competitive range. In mid-October, pdvWireless announced that it had received notice it was out of the running for the contract award. It is unknown whether any companies that did not publicly announce a bid are still in the running.
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