FirstNet RFP Still on Track for Late December Release
Monday, August 17, 2015 | Comments

The First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet) request for proposals (RFP) is still on track for release by December 31, FirstNet President TJ Kennedy said during a special meeting to approve the organization’s budget for fiscal year 2016.

In the next year, Kennedy said, FirstNet has a lot of work in front of it, including ongoing outreach work with public-safety, state and other stakeholders; finalization of the RFP; and the reallocation of the remaining public-safety incumbents from the 700 MHz band 14 spectrum.

The FirstNet board approved a $126 million budget, which was approved by FirstNet’s Finance Committee last week. The budget includes $86 million for acquisition activities related to finalizing and evaluating the RFP, cyber security and the spectrum relocation.

Kennedy told the board that FirstNet is continuing to move forward on developing a grant program to help incumbents of the band 14 spectrum move their operations without interruption to their services.

The budget resolution authorized FirstNet management to establish and implement a grant program for the reallocation process.

Tim Bryan, chair of the Finance Committee, said that as the grant program and specific grants near their final forms, they will come before the finance committee for approval.

The approved budget also includes $28.7 million for continued outreach to stakeholders. One portion of that outreach will include a meeting with representatives from all 50 states. That meeting is scheduled to take place near Denver sometime in October, Kennedy said, and will give the states a chance to share information and discuss FirstNet.

Another key part of this year’s outreach work will be continued development of state plans. “That way we can move quickly after the release of the RFP and provide a draft plan to each state,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy also told the board that FirstNet staff is working on leveraging customer relationship management (CRM) tools to ensure strong coordination and communications between FirstNet and stakeholders such as states.

The board also announced a restructuring of FirstNet’s executive management roles. It appointed Michael Poth CEO and announced that Kennedy, who was serving as acting executive director, would move to position of president.

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