FirstNet Answers First Batch of Questions on Draft RFP

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) today released the first batch of answers to questions it received about the draft request for proposals (RFP) and special notice it released in April (TRDaily, April 27). The authority said last week that it received 642 questions on the documents (TRDaily, June 3).

Today’s release included answers to 95 of the questions. FirstNet spokesman Ryan Oremland said it plans to continue posting responses to questions on the Federal Business Opportunities website on a weekly basis and intends to complete them by the end of the month.  “We want everyone who took the time to respond to the Special Notice and Draft RFP documents to get responses from FirstNet as quickly as possible,” he said. 

“We are working to complete this by July 1 so they can develop their comments and capabilities in time for the July 27 [response] deadline.” FirstNet, which plans to release a final RFP by the end of this year, said in the documents released today that it does not plan to issue any additional requests for information (RFI), but it said that “a determination with regards to the number of RFPs has not yet been made.”

In response to several questions, it acknowledged typos or other errors in the documents it released in April and said that information will be corrected or deleted “in a subsequent RFP.” FirstNet also said that it is still working on completing documents left out of the draft RFP and special notice on a service level agreement for radio access network integration and cyber hardness, adding that the documents “may be provided at a later date or in a subsequent RFP.”

In some cases where there were typos or other errors, questioners asked FirstNet to clarify which information was correct. For example, FirstNet clarified that the expected time line for initial operating capability is 60 months. In response to a question about whether it has estimated the magnitude of any awards or the value of the overall project, FirstNet said that “an ‘independent government estimate’ has been created for the NPSBN acquisition. However, that information will not be made public.”

FirstNet also said it has not made any determination about any set-asides for small businesses. It also said it does not plan to take any position on any FCC action to require public safety agencies to relocate from land mobile radio channels. – Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com