FirstNet Readies for Contract Award after Court Decision
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 | Comments

With a court decision allowing it to move forward with its contract award expected in the coming days, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) provided updates on several items during its March 14 board meeting.

Oral arguments in Rivada Mercury’s pre-award protest of the FirstNet request for proposals (RFP) for an industry partner were presented March 3, and U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Elaine D. Kaplan is expected to release a decision soon.

“We are sensitive that the board and public safety are anxiously awaiting an outcome,” said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth after a closed-door session discussing the acquisition.

TJ Kennedy, president of FirstNet, said FirstNet has three task orders as priorities once the entity can move forward with the RFP award. Those task orders include launching a web interface for delivery of state plans, developing and issuing the 56 state plans, and core network design.

The board passed a resolution that extends Harlin McEwen’s term as chairman of the Public Safety Advisory committee (PSAC) “through the time of award and associated activities and announcements.”

“We think it’s appropriate for you to stay in that position until the award is made,” said FirstNet Chairwoman Sue Swenson. “We would like you to remain as the PSAC chair for a bit longer.”

McEwen said the PSAC is finalizing a document under its preparing for adoption task team. The document will integrate processes that identify key pathways to adoption, describe ways for FirstNet to facilitate positive user experiences, and identify ways to capitalize on emerging trends, applications or uses of broadband data. The task team will also create a readiness checklist/guidance tool for potential public-safety customers.

He said the PSAC’s federal working group is in flux because of changes due to the new presidential administration but he hopes new federal employees will be in place soon.

The Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) received 161 applications for funding under its $30 million Public Safety Innovation Accelerator program. Most applications were in the areas of location-based services and public-safety analytics, said Neil Cox, FirstNet board member.

Grant recipients will be announced at the PSCR annual stakeholder conference in June, and the recipients will present at the event.

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