FirstNet sets 'Industry Day,' starts taking one-on-one meetings with vendors

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) made a couple of significant moves of late, setting May 14 as an "Industry Day" for interested parties to convene and beginning the process of accepting requests for one-on-one meetings with vendors starting May 15.

The Industry Day will provide opportunities for interested parties to ask questions and provide feedback to FirstNet. At the event, FirstNet officials will provide an overview of the Special Notice and draft Request for Proposal (RFP) documents that were approved for release by the FirstNet board and posted to the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website.

"This is a key opportunity for members of the public safety community, the vendor community, and the public to engage in a dialogue with FirstNet about our proposed acquisition approach to deploy the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN)," said FirstNet Acting Executive Director TJ Kennedy in a press release. "We encourage local, state, tribal, and federal agencies, market participants, and the public to participate in this event and in future opportunities to provide direct feedback to FirstNet on acquisition matters affecting the NPSBN."

The Industry Day meeting will be from 1-4 p.m. Eastern time May 14 in the Dallas L. Peck Memorial Auditorium at the U.S. Geological Survey building in Reston, Va. Pre-registration is required to attend the event in person because space will be limited.

In other first-responder network news, the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) got the go-ahead to restart work on its revised, 82-site public-safety LTE system after the federal government lifted its suspension on the project and waived a clause that would have required LA-RICS to meet a 20 percent match requirement, according to IWCE's Urgent Communications.

Acting on a recommendation from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)--NTIA's contracting office--announced that it had lifted a suspension that had been in place since April 3. 

"NTIA, in close consultation with FirstNet, determined that the revised LA-RICS project plan submitted on April 20 would deliver substantial benefits to the Los Angeles public safety community and could be completed by the statutory deadline of Sept. 30, 2015," an NTIA spokeswoman told Urgent Communications. "To ensure timely construction of the project and enable continued robust grant oversight, NTIA and NOAA are also requiring LA-RICS to follow a new Corrective Action Plan."

Among the stipulations are LA-RICS must provide NTIA with regular updates and LA-RICS must immediately require Motorola Solutions, the prime contractor on the project, to assign personnel with cellular-deployment experience to assist in the operation of the LA-RICS project. 

For more:
- see this release
- see this Urgent Communications article

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