Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network

At its June 2017 Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC” or “Commission”) unanimously approved a process to review the alternative plans of States and Territories (“States”) that seek to opt out of the First Responder Network Authority (“FirstNet”) plan for the radio access network (“RAN”) portion of the nationwide public safety broadband network (“NPSBN” or “the Network”). Under the FCC’s Report and Order (“Order”), a State will have 90 days following receipt of FirstNet’s plan to notify the FCC, FirstNet, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) of its decision to opt out.  Following a preliminary Commission review, as detailed in the procedures adopted in the Order, the Commission will allow comment from approved stakeholders on a State’s alternative RAN plan and then make a decision on the sufficiency of that alternative plan.

Continue Reading June 2017 FCC Meeting Recap: FCC Adopts Rules to Govern State Opt-out of FirstNet Plan

funding_opportunity_v1r1It’s a busy time at FirstNet, gearing up for the deployment of the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN).  With yesterday’s release of a Federal Funding Opportunity for up to $40 million for the Band 14 Incumbent Spectrum Relocation Grant Program (Grant Program), FirstNet is making headway in fulfilling its mandate under the Middle Class Tax Cut and Job Relief Act of 2012.  The Grant Program will assist public safety entities currently operating in 758 MHz-769 MHz and 788 MHz – 799 MHz, also known as Band 14, to relocate their communications operations to other frequencies allocated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), providing FirstNet with the unencumbered spectrum necessary to deploy the NPSBN.

Continue Reading FirstNet Announces Up to $40 Million Available for the Band 14 Incumbent Spectrum Relocation Grant

funding_opportunity_v1r1FirstNet released its final Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking a Contractor to build and operate the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN), as authorized by the Middle Class Tax Cut and Job Relief Act of 2012 (Act), and fund FirstNet operations.   The RFP is the result of input to more than 13 Requests for Information, two public Industry Days, and a year of dialogue with the public safety community.  The RFP provides for a single award, Indefinite Delivery-Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with fixed price payments.  In exchange, the winning contractor gains access to 20 MHz of contiguous 700 MHz spectrum and the ability to lease excess network capacity to secondary commercial users, receiving up to $6.5 billion in funding from FirstNet.  FirstNet envisions a 25-year public-private partnership, suggesting that solutions may include “various partnerships and business arrangements that monetize new public safety market offerings via devices, applications and other value-added benefits and services.”  FirstNet plans to select a contractor by the end of the year.

Continue Reading FirstNet Releases Final RFP for Up to $6.5 Billion