FirstNet Set to Announce National Partner Soon

27 January 2017

This is just one story in the January 2017 print newsletter edition. Read the entire edition.

The public safety community nationwide is watching and waiting for a contract to be awarded to a commercial partner for the building of a National Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) was set to announce the winner of the Request for Proposal in November, but a legal challenge by one of the bidding groups has delayed that announcement. Rivada Mercury filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims protesting that their proposal was deemed not good enough to be included in the competitive range. It appears that the earliest this protest could be addressed in court, and a subsequent award made to the winning company, is March. However, once a contract is awarded, Vermont and the rest of the states are slated to benefit from the buildout of the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety entities. Such a network aims to provide a single interoperable platform with priority access for public safety communications. For a detailed description of the network go to the FirstNet section of this web site. 

Vermont's Preparation

To guide and prepare for the development of the NPSBN network in this state, the Vermont Public Safety Broadband Network Commission was established by Executive Order in 2013. The PSBC is supported administratively by the Department of Public Safety. The PSBC was created to help plan and facilitate the building of a public safety broadband network in Vermont. The PSBC advises FirstNet and the Governor on issues related to the network.

Currently, the PSBC is preparing to receive a draft state plan for the buildout of the network in Vermont. An RFP for technical advising and consultation was recently issued and it is hoped a contract will be signed soon with the chosen company. The commission wants to have in place the technical broadband expertise needed to evaluate a plan for Vermont and the legal knowledge of related agreements that may be required to facilitate the network buildout. The PSBC and DPS hope to facilitate a meeting on FirstNet and a technical demonstration for Vermont first responders after FirstNet announces the winner of the national contract to build the network. It is anticipated such a meeting will be held in May. Once buildout begins nationwide, the network is required to be substantially in operation by 2022. If you have any questions about FirstNet, please contact the Vermont outreach team. Our contact information is located at the bottom of this page.

Contact

Public Safety Broadband Network Commission
Department of Public Safety
45 State Drive Waterbury, VT 05671
(802) 241-5535/ Email the PSBC

Visit the national FirstNet web site at: www.FirstNet.gov