Pacific Northwest mulls FirstNet options

Oregon and Washington are conducting a joint cooperative procurement to improve their wireless broadband system.

Oregon’s Department of Administrative Services and Washington’s Department of Enterprise Services are seeking proposals by November 13 to establish a Northwest Public Safety Broadband Network (NWPSBN).

A partner will provide a no-cost solution to the states to design, build, deploy, finance, operate, maintain and continually improve and update a wireless broadband system that is fully interoperable with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) National Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). 

Attendees at last week’s pre-proposal conference included Verizon and Western Utility Telecom, while other firms including Rivada Networks participated in the event by phone.

Neither Oregon nor Washington has made a decision to accept or reject the proposal made by FirstNet for an NPSBN.  The request for proposals will provide an alternative to the offers from FirstNet and its selected contractor AT&T, or to supplement those offers.

Oregon and Washington will use first round proposals to provide information to the respective governors, upon which they will make their opt-in/opt-out decisions, which are due on December 28. 

Following the completion of Round 1, and provided that one or both of Washington and Oregon decide to opt-out,  that state  will issue an  addendum setting forth the RFP process for Round  2.

Indiana and Minnesota are the latest states to opt-in to the FirstNet NPSBN.

Meanwhile, the joint procurement between Oregon and Washington comes as P3 is being considered to replace the Hood River/White Salmon Interstate Bridge between the states.