California Releases RFI for Public-Safety LTE Network
Tuesday, November 22, 2016 | Comments

The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) invited industry to respond to a request for information (RFI) and suggest compelling business models and approaches to build, deploy and operate a state-deployed broadband statewide public-safety radio access network (RAN) within California as an alternative to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)-deployed RAN.

The information gathered from the RFI responses will be useful in determining whether California should opt in to a FirstNet-deployed RAN or opt out and choose an alternative state-deployed RAN implementation, the document said. “This decision will be made by the governor of California in terms of which option is in the best interest of the state of California including local, tribal and state public-safety experts (PSEs).”

Responses are due Jan. 2, while questions from industry are due Dec. 5, and responses to those questions will be sent Dec. 19.

“This is in an effort to obtain as much information as possible for available options for building out California’s RAN,” said Brad Alexander, Cal OES spokesman. “We’re working with the California FirstNet board of directors, the state’s advisory committees and FirstNet to make certain California’s needs are met.

“We’re continually looking for ways that improve first responder communications systems to ensure that people in emergency situations can communicate to emergency responders in a safe and timely manner. Working with other public-safety agencies in the state, Cal OES is dedicated to providing the best emergency services possible.”

California is the second state to release an RFI to solicit information for a state-run alternative to a FirstNet RAN following Colorado earlier this year. New Hampshire already awarded a request for proposal (RFP) for a state-run public-safety broadband network, and Arizona and Alabama have released RFPs.

FirstNet has not yet awarded its RFP to a partner to supply and operate a nationwide public-safety broadband network and help provide plans for each of the states and territories. Once the states receive their plans, they will decide whether to opt in to FirstNet or build their own state RANs.

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