A new blog post published at the end of last week from FirstNet CEO Mike Poth, suggests that the contract award for the nation’s first responder network will be delayed a second time. The award was due tomorrow, November 1, but Poth says the organization will not meet that goal. No further specifics were given about when to expect the RFP award to be made.
In the post, Poth said FirstNet can’t discuss the specifics of its procurement process, but tried to explain away the second extension by focusing on the complexity of procurement. “From the outset, FirstNet set an aggressive schedule for the procurement knowing that the timing of the award would depend on many factors given its significance and complexity, some of which are outside our control. This is a highly complex acquisition that requires the input and support of multiple agencies and entities; it is critical that all parties are thorough and follow the necessary processes so that FirstNet gets this right for public safety,” Poth writes.
The agency first released this RFP in January and extended the response time to the end of May. November 1 was to be the goal date for choosing an awardee from those responses.
AT&T has indicated it is pursuing the contract, in a move that is likely related to gaining access to band 14, the dedicated spectrum for FirstNet. The depth of Verizon’s public sector client roster also puts them on the list. RCR Wireless noted on Friday that PdvWireless, which had confirmed its bid for the project, said in a recent SEC filing that it was recently notified it wouldn’t be considered for the award. It is currently unclear what about the submission review process is delaying the agency or how many vendors have submitted responses.