FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 17, 2017 


Potential Opt-Out Partners Identified in FirstNet Proposal

DENVER, Colo.—FirstNet Colorado in conjunction with the FirstNet Colorado Governing Body (FNCGB) has identified a potential opt-out partner for the FirstNet initiative. A joint proposal by Rivada and Macquarie won the conditional award after submitting their Request for Proposal (RFP).

Colorado’s Single Point of Contact (SPOC) on the project, Brian Shepherd, says, “We are excited to have a potential partner identified for the opt-out scenario so we can identify the best possible solution for Colorado’s portion of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN).” The award is contingent first on a recommendation from the FNCGB to opt-out of the proposed state plan. Ultimately, Governor John Hickenlooper will decide whether Colorado opts in or opts out to the state plan offered by FirstNet and AT&T, the vendor awarded the national contract. The Governor’s decision is due no later than December 28th.

The process for opt-out proposals began in March and focused on technical, financial and operational elements of an alternative Radio Access Network (RAN) implementation and included a review committee made up of public safety stakeholders from across the state.
“The review committee and several subject matter experts put in a tremendous amount of work and we are thankful for their commitment,” added Shepherd.

The FirstNet Colorado team points out that the award is not a decision to opt-out, rather a key step in the process of comparing the two alternatives as defined in the Spectrum Act*. The FNCGB will continue to work with staff to understand both options and make an ultimate recommendation to the Governor prior to the December 28th deadline.

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About FirstNet

*The "Spectrum Act" legislation created the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), an independent authority established within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). FirstNet is charged with establishing a nationwide public safety broadband network based on a single, national network architecture. FirstNet has the authority to take all actions necessary to ensure the design, construction, deployment, and operations of the nationwide public safety broadband network. FirstNet will consult with Federal, State, tribal, and local public safety entities as part of their efforts. FirstNet is headed by a 15-member board comprised of representatives from states, locals, tribes, and territories as well as representatives from industry and the public safety community. FirstNet will also establish network deployment phases that will include substantial rural coverage milestones for each phase of the network construction and deployment. FirstNet will consider special considerations for areas or regions with unique homeland security or national security needs. FirstNet will consult with a single officer in each state, designated by the Governor of that state.

The Spectrum Act legislation provides a $135 Million State and Local Implementation grant fund to be administered through FirstNet. These funds are set aside by NTIA to assist State, regional, tribal, and local jurisdictions to identify, plan, and implement infrastructure, equipment, and other architecture. A 20% local match will be required for any grant funds awarded by FirstNet. States are required to appoint a single officer or governmental body to serve as the coordinator of implementation of the grant funds. Grant guidance will be a task assigned to FirstNet to define eligible costs, scope of eligible grant activities, and how to prioritize grant awards that ensure both rural and urban coverage.

Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the 9/11 Commission recommended the establishment of a nationwide, interoperable public safety communications network to resolve the communications challenges faced by emergency responders nationwide. Since then, the public safety community has made progress in advancing emergency communications capabilities through enhanced coordination, governance structures, planning, training, and equipment. At the same time, private sector developments in high-speed, wireless communications technology have presented public safety with a platform to enhance information sharing and communications during emergencies and day-to-day operations. Through broadband technology, public safety users can have the ability to access video images of a crime in progress, download floor plans of a burning building, or connect rapidly and securely with personnel from other communities. For the past decade, public safety has worked with State and local government officials, the Federal government, and Members of Congress to gather support for establishing a nationwide interoperable network. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through the Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) has helped set a broad policy framework for a nationwide interoperable network to ensure it meets the needs of its users and aligns with existing emergency communications policy. On February 22, 2012, President Obama signed into law H.R.3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which includes provisions to fund and govern a Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network. OEC is working with the Departments of Commerce and Justice to ensure it meets the needs of users in the public safety community.


About OIT

The Colorado Governor's Office of Information Technology (OIT) is responsible for the operation and delivery of information and communications technology services and innovation across the Executive Branch agencies in the State of Colorado. OIT drives innovative technology solutions, provides quality service, and supports the agencies whose missions are so critical to serving Coloradans. We do this by overseeing technology initiatives at the state level, recommending strategies and maximizing efficiencies of service delivery in a cost-effective manner through the application of enterprise technology solutions. Our enterprise approach also enables the agile delivery of new applications to state agencies that improve citizen access to government services while increasing accountability and transparency.

Find OIT online at colorado.gov/oit, on the #StateofCO IT blog, and on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Media Contact: 
Tauna Lockhart, Chief Communications Officer & PIO
303.764.7731 (work)
720.933.9193 (cell)
tauna.lockhart@state.co.us