The time has come and gone for industry to throw their hats into the ring in pursuit of the contract to help construct the future nationwide broadband network for U.S. public safety agencies.
Tuesday was the deadline for vendors to hand in their bids to the federal agency responsible for the multi-year, multi-billion dollar FirstNet initiative nearly six months after the much-anticipated solicitation and finalized requirements went public.
FirstNet CEO Mike Poth forecasts a contract award to build the network to happen “as soon as November of this year.”
AT&T publicly revealed its FirstNet interest at a January telecommunications conference in Las Vegas and wireless technology provider Rivada Networks disclosed its plans to pursue the project two months later with Motorola Solutions also mentioned as apotential participant, according to reports from website Urgent Communications.
Urgent Communications also has cited Verizon as a favorite to be FirstNet’s “carrier partner” based on feedback from industry analysts but the telecommunications giant has been mum on the topic.
At stake in this FirstNet endeavor is up to $6.5 billion in contract funds over 25 years, access to part of what the agency calls “beachfront property” spectrum once used for analog TV and the opportunity to help spearhead a unique partnership between the private and public sectors.
The quiet period for FirstNet has begun but expect a lot of noise to start this November from the contract winner and all public safety agencies that eagerly anticipate this network to go live.
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