Update on Broadband

On July 10, 2013, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) at www.firstnet.gov released ten Requests for Information (RFI) to obtain input from vendors and interested stakeholders on developing the nationwide wireless broadband network. Potential vendors have been invited to provide information on the radio access network (RAN) and the core network. 

FirstNet is planning to provide emergency responders with the first high-speed, nationwide network dedicated to public safety .FirstNet an independent organization established under the Department of Commerce’s NTIA, needs to have information available for smartphones, routers, tablets, modems, specialized devices, security, privacy devices and applications, device management, and other wireless equipment and applications.

FirstNet is doing market research as part of the planning needed for the potential future acquisition of devices to run on the FirstNet Network. FirstNet through their RFI, is seeking information to help determine future acquisitions including contract requirements and potential vendors. Specifically, FirstNet is looking for vendors with core competencies and demonstrated experience in developing and sustaining public safety quality products.

“Over the past few months, FirstNet has been engaged in extensive outreach and consultation with all the states and territories and is now engaging with the public safety wireless supplier community through RFIs,” said FirstNet Board member Craig Farrill who also serves as acting Chief Technology Officer.

Farrill said, “The just released detailed RFIs reflect the diversity of uses and applications as well as the extensive broadband wireless needs of first responders and public safety professionals. We are looking for a wide range of innovative, highly reliable, and cost effective products and services to address the mission-critical telecommunications needs to provide public safety”.

After FirstNet receives and analyzes responses to the RFIs, FirstNet will then issue future RFPs. All responses to the RFIs as well as information gathered from FirstNet’s regional workshops and from additional state meetings planned for this fall, will be used to help develop First Net’s nationwide deployment plan.

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