Data Collection in 2016: What Does It Mean?

April 29, 2016
FirstNet's Brian Hobson presents on the state plan process at the 2016 Spring SPOC Meeting.
FirstNet's Brian Hobson presents on the state plan process at the 2016 Spring SPOC Meeting.
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By Brian Hobson, FirstNet State Plans Technical Lead

In January, FirstNet hit a major milestone with the release of its Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network.  The FirstNet RFP is unique – not only because it is objectives-based, but because it was informed by feedback and public safety specific data from the states and territories.

The initial data collection process that culminated last fall was a key source of stakeholder input into the RFP.  This was a very successful endeavor, as we received data submissions from 54 states and territories before the September 30, 2015 deadline.  I would like to again thank all of the states and territories that submitted data to FirstNet; this information helped inform the RFP and, overall, FirstNet is in a better position to serve public safety because of your efforts.

With the RFP now on the street, FirstNet is moving toward the implementation phase of the network.  The User Advocacy team has kicked off 2016 Consultation efforts and is preparing for the State Plans process.   Further, consistent with our previous guidance on data collection, we are accepting additional data from the state single points of contacts (SPOCs) and Federal Agency POCs prior to September 30, 2016.  Specific details for the submission will follow, similar to last year.  We encourage states and territories to incorporate input from stakeholders in their jurisdictions, including tribes.

As we discussed at the SPOC meeting this month, this round of data collection is an optional opportunity for any states that have collected additional data or have updates to their submissions since last fall’s data collection.  We are still focusing on the four key topics about which we originally requested data, including:  1) coverage; 2) users and operational areas; 3) capacity; and 4) current services and procurement.  

A key difference this time, however, is that the data will not be incorporated into FirstNet’s acquisition process nor will it be considered for proposal evaluations.  The initial data submitted by states and territories in 2015, on behalf of local, state and tribal public safety agencies, was used to inform FirstNet’s RFP.  Those inputs, however, have been frozen and will not be changed.  

We are requesting the additional data ahead of the contract award slated for later this year so that we can synthesize and understand the most recent inputs from states and territories.   Any updated or additional data that we receive this year will only be shared with FirstNet’s partner(s) after award of the network contract and will not be used to materially change the negotiated solution under the award.

Understanding public safety needs and perspectives has and always will be paramount to the success of the FirstNet network.  While optional, this second round of data collection is another way for the states and territories to inform FirstNet’s efforts, in this case the development and delivery of the State Plans, as well as eventual deployment of the network.   Moreover, as we look to the future deployment and operation of the network, FirstNet will continue to rely on – and listen to – public safety.

Thanks,
Brian

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