New Hampshire Releases Statewide Public Safety LTE RFP
Wednesday, December 16, 2015 | Comments
The state of New Hampshire’s Department of Safety released a request for proposals (RFP) for a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. Proposals from vendors are due Feb. 19.

The overall scope of the project is to design, build, manage and sustain a carrier-neutral, LTE broadband communications network using the licensed First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) 20 megahertz of the 700 MHz LTE spectrum dedicated to and controlled by public safety with the potential to wholesale access to multiple carriers in conjunction with the state of New Hampshire, the RFP said.

The RFP said the state has worked with FirstNet throughout the process so far, but “the collective stakeholder environment suggests strongly that we need to create comparative data to truly understand and recommend our pathway forward.”

The state plans to execute a public-private partnership contract as a result of the RFP and reserves the right to award a contract by item, part or portion of any item, group of items or total proposal.

“This public-private partnership with a private communications technology organization, steeped in FirstNet awareness, will collaborate in a business-like relationship to build out and manage the FirstNet system as it specifically relates to New Hampshire,” the document said.

The schedule includes an anticipated contract award by March 7, 2016, and contract approval by the state by April 15. An anticipated notice to proceed is scheduled for April 30 with a completion date of Sept. 30, 2017.

Last week FirstNet said it will release its RFP, which uses a nationwide provider approach, to vendors in early January, and proposals will be due in early May.

FirstNet is scheduled to award the contract in late 2016 with final plans to each state following in 2017.

After a state is presented with a state plan, the state’s governor must determine whether the state will opt in to the FirstNet plan or opt out and build its own radio access network (RAN) that interoperates with the FirstNet nationwide network.

The New Hampshire schedule would award a contract before a state plan is likely to be received by FirstNet, suggesting the state might be planning to opt out of the FirstNet. However, as part of the final legal interpretations issued in October, FirstNet clarified that there is not an “early opt out” option for states. In interpretation 14, “FirstNet concludes that the Governor must await notice and presentation of the FirstNet plan prior to making the decision pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 1442(e)(2).”

“We expect some states and territories to conduct market research as part of their due diligence for RAN deployment, and that could include issuing RFPs, as well as RFIs (requests for information),” said Ryan Oremland, FirstNet communications director. “The law, however, lays out a process to ensure that a state makes the most informed decision about RAN deployment. Central to that process, there are two key dependencies that must happen first: award of the FirstNet RFP and delivery of the state plan.”

Calls and emails to New Hampshire’s single point of contact John Stevens were not returned by press time. Stevens is also listed as the contact on the RFP.

The New Hampshire RFP is here.

Sandra Wendelken is editor of MissionCritical Communications and RadioResource International magazines. Contact her at

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