The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration that's responsible for deploying the nation’s first unified communications network for first responders, took three steps forward on Sept. 17. The FirstNet board released a public notice, a request for information (RFI), and a budget for fiscal 2015.
The released public notice and RFI are both intended to enrich the development of the nationwide network and ensure FirstNet’s objectives are in line with the legal requirements and technical capabilities of the telecommunications industry. The public notice reportedly serves to reach a wider audience through publication in the Federal Register.
The 15-page RFP seeks answers from industry on FirstNet’s intended processes. One question in the document asks, “Should FirstNet seek proposals for a comprehensive, nationwide solution, [or] act as integrator and seek proposals for equipment and services to custom assemble a nationwide network, or something there-between?”
The document sheds light on FirstNet’s stance as the organization prepares to release a draft RFP by March 2015. The budget approved by the FirstNet board allocates $120 million, mainly to be spent on the implementation of a comprehensive RFP process and state consultations, already underway.