Poth Says FirstNet Won’t Trade Quality for Expediency in Awarding Contract

November 2, 2016–First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Chief Executive Officer Mike Poth said today that he “will not trade quality for expediency” in making a decision on the award of a contract to a partner to build and operate a nationwide public safety broadband network. Mr. Poth announced last week that FirstNet would miss its Nov. 1 goal of announcing a contract award (TRDaily, Oct. 27).

“FirstNet is poised to take the next big step forward with the procurement. Some of you may recall the old proverb – measure a thousand times, cut once,” he said in the text of remarks delivered today at IWCE’s Critical LTE Communications Forum in Chicago. “I will not trade quality for expediency. I will not trade conducting a thorough, fair, balanced evaluation of all offers to hit a date. And I will not allow delays from FirstNet. Any delays will not be from FirstNet or the government.”

Mr. Poth continued, “We are moving very quickly – public safety is counting on us. Our state and local partners are counting on us. The Federal government is counting on us. We set the November 1st target date last December prior to issuing the RFP. We purposely set an aggressive target because we felt it was very important to put that target out there and it has helped to move the process along. We gave industry 5 months to review and submit offers, answering hundreds of questions and even extending the due date to allow sufficient time for offers. For the last 5 months we have been carefully evaluating each and every offer in a fair, balanced, structured, and measured way.”

Mr. Poth stressed that FirstNet is “going to make sure we take the time to get it right and follow the steps laid out in Federal Acquisition Regulation – we have come too far, and there is too much at stake to do it any other way. … The FirstNet team has and will continue to work diligently to make an award as soon as possible so that we can make good on our mission to deliver the Network to the public safety community and the American public they serve. I am looking forward to a positive outcome and moving quickly into the development and delivery of State Plans.”

pdvWireless, Inc., recently said that its offer on behalf of a consortium was no longer under consideration by FirstNet (TRDaily, Oct. 18). The other known entities to submit bids are AT&T, Inc., and the Rivada Mercury consortium, which is led Rivada Networks LLC. – Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily