On March 22, the state of Michigan issued an RFP so that it could potentially opt out of a national public safety network contract with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) — an increasingly popular quest, as Michigan was the fourth state to do this. And just two days later, on March 24, Colorado joined this effort by issuing its own RFP.
— FirstNet Colorado (@FirstNetCO) March 24, 2017 “We want real creativity and innovation from potential bidders," Colorado Point of Contact Brian Shepherd said in a press release. "Colorado’s RFP approach is unique and we are excited for many segments of industry to review and thoughtfully consider responding. We believe the full benefit of this network lies not only in providing a solution for first responders, but in enabling a comprehensive statewide critical communications infrastructure that can support multiple services.”
The state has divided the RFP process into two phases. Responses will go through an initial selection process, and then bidding requirements will get more detailed.
Additionally, the RFP is seeking bids for two projects that applicants can either submit in tandem or separately. Bids are due by May 8 and the RFP documents can be found on the state procurement website, under RFP number 2017000243.
FirstNet's buildout could begin as early as June, as its legal battle with RFP bidder Rivada Mercury was recently settled in favor of the authority.