FirstNet Releases RFP with $100B Ceiling for 25-Year Contract
Wednesday, January 13, 2016 | Comments
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Jan. 13 issued its request for proposals (RFP) for the deployment of the nationwide public-safety broadband network. The indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract has a guaranteed minimum of $150 million and a contract ceiling of $100 billion for the 25-year performance period.

Proposals to the RFP are due April 29, with questions and capability statements due Feb. 12 and March 17, respectively. FirstNet anticipates making an award in the fourth quarter of 2016. The FirstNet board approved the RFP last month.

“We have developed this RFP in an open forum to create a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership for the network,” said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth. “As we move into the next phase of the process, we look forward to receiving competitive offerings to deliver the best possible network for public safety.”

The 511-page document includes 13 sections, labeled A through M. The RFP sections comprise the following: solicitation, offer and award; supplies, services and prices; statement of objectives; packaging and marking; inspection and acceptance; deliverables and performance; contract administration data; special contract and task order requirements; contract clauses; list of 26 attachments; representations and certifications; instructions, conditions and notices; and evaluation factors for award.

The document does not provide requirements for bidders but instead includes a statement of objectives with 16 specific areas that must be addressed by the bidders.

The release of the RFP follows 13 requests for information (RFIs), a set of draft RFP documents, two industry day public events, answers to more than 650 questions related to network specifications and meetings with interested vendors.

FirstNet also conducted a consultation and outreach program to engage with the states, territories, federal agencies, tribal governments, and the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) in the RFP development process.

“This is an opportunity to revolutionize how first responders do their job, and we appreciate the valuable public-safety feedback we have received to make this happen,” said FirstNet President TJ Kennedy. “FirstNet is thrilled to issue an RFP that will promote innovation and deliver the best value to the public-safety community.”

FirstNet announced that it will conduct a public webinar Jan. 15 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. EST to review key RFP elements with interested parties, including states, tribes, territories, public-safety stakeholders and market participants. The webinar will be available on the FirstNet website.

FirstNet officials said last month they would have no other formal communication with industry suppliers other than the webinar.

The leading LMR vendors both released statements positive about the RFP. “The release of the FirstNet RFP is an important milestone on the journey to creating a nationwide public-safety network,” said Dana Mehnert, Harris senior vice president and chief global business development officer. “Harris has a long history of success in supporting public-safety professionals with innovative network and communications technologies for mission-critical customers. Harris applauds the government's commitment to bringing the FirstNet program to fruition and will continue to support FirstNet as it moves from concept to reality.”

"Motorola Solutions will closely study the FirstNet RFP," Motorola statement said. "The RFP is the culmination of an important process that brings the reality of a nationwide broadband network dedicated to first responders that much closer. We support the ongoing process to build the network and look forward to seeing its benefits for our customers nationwide."

An AT&T executive said last week that the nationwide carrier plans to aggressively pursue the RFP.

The full FirstNet RFP is here.

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Sandra Wendelken is editor of MissionCritical Communications and RadioResource International magazines. Contact her at swendelken@RRMediaGroup.com.

 
 
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