Michigan Recommends Analyzing Rivada’s Alternative Bid with FirstNet State Plan
Tuesday, June 27, 2017 | Comments

The state of Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget recommended that the state analyze Rivada Michigan’s bid alongside the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) state plan for Michigan “to determine the best value bid.” In March, Michigan released a request for proposals (RFP) to provide an alternative to the offer from FirstNet. The RFP invited qualified entities to submit a proposal for the design, installation and operation of a statewide broadband wireless system to serve Michigan public-safety entities.

Three entities submitted proposals — Rivada Michigan, Crown Castle and Macquarie Infrastructure Development. In the state’s recommendation synopsis, the state said neither Crown Castle nor Macquarie Infrastructure Development met the requirements “for being responsive and responsible.”

The synopsis said Rivada Michigan “has met the requirements for being responsive and responsible and received a minimum of 80 points [out of 100] to meet minimum requirements for technical responsiveness.”

However, the document outlines a few concerns with the bid. The entity is newly created specifically for this project. There was no history of working together as a team on a similar project, the document said. In addition, the bidder’s proposed financial model outlines what Rivada is willing to contribute but fails to identify a no-cost model for the state of Michigan for establishing and maintaining the network as required.

The state also had concerns about subcontractors being compliant to federal and state standards. Clarification is required on security needs; Rivada did not specify whether the proposed solution was cloud based or locally hosted, the document said. The response to outages met the requirement, but left the state responsible for maintenance and deployables.

“There are concerns about map projections from public safety for use in the future; demand is not sufficient based on bidder’s proposed numbers,” the synopsis said.

Positives of the Rivada bid included overall thorough network design, good design security and accelerated speed to market. Coverage and capacity maps were good, and the bidder addressed network support, service availability and acceptable response times. Rivada addressed network monitoring and warranties, along with billing and other administrative functions.

“We are honored that our alternative plan for public-safety broadband in Michigan will have the chance to be placed side by side with the federal government’s offering,” said Declan Ganley, executive chairman and co-CEO of Rivada Networks. “By putting out this RFP, Michigan has given its governor a real choice, as envisioned in the legislation that created FirstNet.”

Michigan is the second state, after New Hampshire, to select a vendor for a state alternative plan. Rivada was named the preferred bidder in both states.

Rivada said in a statement that it has already made state-specific “white papers” available to any state that has not already started a procurement for alternative plans. These white papers lay out the Rivada approach to public-safety broadband.

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