Verizon Won’t Bid on California RFP, Accuses FirstNet of Stifling Competition
Monday, December 11, 2017 | Comments

Verizon announced that it would not bid on California’s request for proposals (RFP) for a public-safety Long Term Evolution (LTE) network.

Last month, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services released an RFP to provide the state with a public-safety broadband network that will fully interoperate with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) network. California officials are concerned about a draft spectrum manager lease agreement (SMLA) and potential fees and penalties included and a lack of clarify from FirstNet officials on the document, which the state would have to sign if it opts out.

“After carefully and extensively reviewing the state of California's public-safety network RFP requirements, we have chosen not to bid on the RFP,” Verizon said in a statement. “Technical and financial requirements dictated by FirstNet's draft SMLA saddled the state of California — through no fault of its own — with onerous and vaguely defined mandates in its RFP that impacted our ability to create a response we believe best served public safety and Verizon.”

Verizon said FirstNet is attempting to stifle competition and it will continue to support public-safety officials in California including working with public safety during the ongoing wildfires in Southern California.

“Vigorous competition that allows the industry and the marketplace to continue to grow and innovate is in the best interest of public safety and should be everyone's shared goal,” the statement said. “Instead, we believe FirstNet and its corporate partner are rigging the game in order to stifle true competition.”

In response, AT&T released the following statement: “Building a state-of-the art network that meets the needs of first responders is hard. Clearly, AT&T is up for the task. We’re noticing a pattern: Verizon says they have public safety’s back, but when it comes to the heavy lifting, they are nowhere to be found."

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