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FirstNet Board Moves Forward with Final RFP for Nationwide Broadband Network

By Michael Jacobson

At its latest meeting, held October 2, 2015, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) board of directors set the stage for moving forward with the final request for proposals (RFP) for the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN).

The FirstNet board approved a nationwide solution provider approach for the NPSBN, along with 64 final interpretations from the first and second public notices.

The RFP, set to be released by the end of 2015, will seek one nationwide proposal where the provider or a team of providers will deliver a consistent set of products across all states and areas. This approach should provide the capabilities for partnerships to quickly bring the NPSBN online in both urban and rural areas.

In addition to approving the approach, the board approved the release of final legal interpretations of language in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which created FirstNet. Of significant interest is the definition of “rural.” FirstNet will use the Rural Electrification Act definition that defines “rural area” as a city, town, or incorporated area that has a population of less than 20,000 and is not adjacent to an urbanized area with 50,000 or more inhabitants.

For more information, see:

To learn more FirstNet and the effort to develop the NPSBN, download and read this SEARCH Issue Brief, Prepping for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network.”

DonLewisAbout the Author

Michael Jacobson is an Information Sharing Specialist for SEARCH. He is SEARCH’s representative to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC), which is comprised of representatives of national organizations that are key leaders on public safety and communications and interoperability issues. PSAC provides input and expertise to the FirstNet Board to support its critical mission: to build, deploy, and operate a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network.

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