Mississippi, Georgia Release Public-Safety LTE RFPs
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 | Comments

Mississippi and Georgia became the latest states to issue requests for proposals (RFPs) for alternative statewide broadband radio access networks (RANS) to the state plan proposals from the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).

The Mississippi Wireless Communication Commission (MWCC) issued its RFP to provide the governor of Mississippi with a fully comparable, viable, alternative plan to be considered concurrently with the FirstNet state plan for Mississippi. Additionally, the procurement intends to solicit the professional services required to meet the criteria established by the FCC, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and FirstNet to obtain approval to build an opt-out network in the state should the governor decide to not accept the FirstNet Mississippi state plan.

The Mississippi solicitation said there is no guarantee that the RFP will result in a contract award. The following are the state’s objectives regarding establishing a public-safety RAN and core within Mississippi.

• Facilitate the deployment of the public-safety network in Mississippi;
• Assure that the network is deployed in a manner that meets all material requirements of Mississippi for coverage, capacity, security, reliability, control and grade of service;
• Secure the widest possible adoption of the Mississippi network by Mississippi public-safety users;
• Ensure that the costs of using the Mississippi network are consistent with the objective for wide adoption;
• Eliminate concerns regarding the financial sustainability of the Mississippi network;
• Obtain assurance that the Mississippi network is technically sustainable and scalable, including the ability to meet current as well as expanded requirements that may develop over time;
• Assure that interoperability is effective both within the borders of Mississippi as well as with other states and territories; and
• Ensure that the Mississippi network is designed, built, financed, operated and maintained so that the network and its services substantially enhance first responders’ abilities to protect human life and property and increase first responders’ personal safety.

Proposals to MWCC are due Oct. 3.

Georgia also released an RFP too determine whether to opt in or opt out of the FirstNet state plan. The state requested proposals for the work performed as described in FirstNet’s initial RFP. Georgia invited qualified vendors to submit a proposal for the design, installation and operation of a statewide broadband wireless system to serve Georgia public-safety entities. The Georgia public-safety broadband network (GAPSBN) shall be fully interoperable now and in the future with the FirstNet nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN).

The RFP contemplates a government-vendor partnership with an entity that meets the qualifications of a wireless network operator with one or more national wireless networks for roaming service. No funds have been appropriated for the project, and the network must be financially self sustaining for the anticipated lifespan.

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