Local governments question procurement process for Bay area LTE network

Officials from the city of San Jose and the county of Santa Clara have asked the federal government to "suspend or postpone" the $50.6 million broadband stimulus award Motorola sought to build a 700 MHz LTE network in San Francisco for public-safety use. These local officials say they have questions about the procurement process.  

"The process utilized to select the vendor for this process does not reflect our standard for accepted procurement practices," San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Santa Clara County Executive Jeffrey Smith stated in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke.

San Jose government officials have also voice concern that $2 million in Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) grants to San Jose were reallocated without the city's permission to pay for a 10-site LTE network, known as Project Cornerstone, which is designed to be the beginning of a larger San Francisco-area LTE network funded in large part by Motorola's stimulus award. San Jose  is wondering why no request for proposal was drafted or approved by proper approving authorities.

The overall LTE network will cover 10 sites in multiple counties in the Bay Area, and is part of the Bay Area Regional Interoperable Communications System (BayRICS) plan. The network will cover San Francisco, Alameda County/Oakland, Contra Costa County, as well as the cities of Santa Clara and Sunnyvale. The FCC in May granted a conditional waiver to San Francisco to begin building a public-safety LTE system.

"Our interest here is to better understand the procurement process and why the city of San Jose was not afforded the opportunity to participate," San Jose Deputy City Manager Deanna Santana. "We really encourage a thorough review."

For more:
- see this Urgent Communications article

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