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.

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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.

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