By James Mitchell, FirstNet Director of Program Management
Last Friday night, FirstNet released its responses to 122 questions about the Request for Proposal (RFP), as well as 33 RFP changes that are reflected in Amendment 002. It takes a significant amount of work from across FirstNet and in coordination with the Department of Interior to prepare this information for release, and I would like to thank everyone involved in the process for their commitment to this important effort.
This set of responses addresses questions from public safety interests and potential offerors about, among other things, the processes for Covered Leasing Agreements and State Plans. The responses also provide additional clarity regarding coverage, capacity, and cybersecurity.
The authors of the relevant RFP sections are writing the responses and amendments. The goal is to publish all of the responses within the first part of March, so those interested in submitting capabilities statements have enough time to develop and/or finalize their submissions.
In addition, FirstNet has updated the RFP itself. We have said from the beginning that we would consider amending the document, as necessary, based on the questions process and to provide potential offerors with more information. Some of the RFP amendments that we released on Friday are technical in nature and in response to the questions received. FirstNet also updated the document to provide more clarity and information on subjects such as rural telecommunications, timelines around pricing and contract administration, and public safety adoption targets.
As a reminder, the due date for submitting capability statements has been extended to March 31, 2016, and the due date for proposals was extended to May 13, 2016. If an offeror submits a capability statement, FirstNet will evaluate the submission and will provide feedback to those that submitted capability statements.
The capability statement Phase I process provides an opportunity for potential offerors to receive feedback as they draft and finalize their proposed solutions, and FirstNet looks forward to receiving the capability statements next month.