California Goes With SAIC For FirstNet Planning


The State of California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has tapped Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for planning support services regarding FirstNet. SAIC will serve as the prime contractor on California’s efforts for the project.

Under the contract, SAIC will provide planning and outreach support services, including public safety broadband outreach and education planning; engagement and coordination of stakeholders; and conduct of presentations, town halls, and webinars that advise the Office of Emergency Services on FirstNet legislation. The contract has a two-year base period of performance,and a total contract value of approximately $440,000.

The announcement comes as officials tasked with supervising the FirstNet project released the overall roadmap for work nationwide. FirstNet will provide first responders with a high speed voice and data network to fall back on during times of local and national emergency. So far, FirstNet has had a rocky road in terms of clear guidance and some vendor in-fighting. The release of the roadmap is a step toward greater clarity.

In that report, officials write that “FirstNet’s deployment strategy will likely be accomplished through a combination of terrestrial systems and the use of mobile and satellite systems. We plan to have significant coverage across the U.S. through the use of terrestrial topologies, similar to what wireless carriers have today (approximately 60 percent of geography). In addition, for the remaining geographies, we plan to use specific solutions for rural deployment, including partnering with rural infrastructure providers, deployables, mobile communications solutions, and satellite systems.”

Phase 1 milestones include staffing, requirements gathering, and a contracting process that also takes into account how to make extra network capacity an added value to the project. State consultations on FirstNet are slated to begin next year.