Rhode Island Releases RFP for RAN Alternative Plan
Tuesday, June 20, 2017 | Comments

Rhode Island joined a handful of other states in releasing a request for proposal (RFP) for a radio access network (RAN) alternative plan to compare to its First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) state plan, released June 19.

The Rhode Island Department of Administration/Division of Purchases, on behalf of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA), is soliciting proposals from qualified firms to secure a partner to help build, operate and maintain a statewide RAN that connects to and is fully interoperable with the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) being created by FirsNet.

The initial contract period will begin about Jan. 1, 2018, for a term to be determined in contract negotiations with the selected vendor only if the state reaches an opt-out decision on the FirstNet state plan.

“There are many stipulations and contingencies in this RFP, most important of which is that the state of Rhode Island will only pursue a contract if it decides to reject the state plan presented by FirstNet to the state,” the RFP said.

States and territories can spend up to 45 days, or until Aug. 4, to review the FirstNet state plans and offer comments back to FirstNet. FirstNet and AT&T officials will take 45 days to adjudicate the comments. At that point, FirstNet will make the plan official and notify the governor, and the 90-day window begins for an opt-in or opt-out decision, sometime around mid-December.

The Rhode Island RFP follows a request for information (RFI) released in May.

Submissions to the Rhode Island RFP are due July 12. The full RFP is available here.

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