Alabama today announced that its request for proposal (RFP) seeking bidders willing to build and maintain a statewide public-safety LTE radio access network (RAN) generated three submissions, making Alabama the second state in the country to receive proposals that could become an alternative to the nationwide FirstNet buildout.

Although the announcement was released today, bidding for the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) closed on Jan. 31. ALEA did not identify the vendor groups submitting bids in its short press release.

“Prior to the closing deadline, three submissions were received by ALEA,” according to the ALEA release. “Over the next 90 days, these submissions will be evaluated based on specific requirements of the RFP and the technical requirements set forth by FirstNet.”

All three proposals will be evaluated, but the winning bidder will be contracted to build the LTE RAN only if Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley chooses to “opt out” of the FirstNet nationwide deployment plan and successfully completes the opt-out process, which would mean that the state would have to build and maintain the RAN within its borders for 25 years. Like other governors of U.S. states and territories, Bentley cannot make the opt-out decision until receiving the FirstNet deployment plan for the state.

With the bids, Alabama joins New Hampshire as the only states to receive bids for a statewide public-safety RAN. New Hampshire completed its procurement last year, selecting Rivada Networks as the winning bidder. Arizona also has released an RFP to solicit proposals for a statewide RAN, but that bid deadline has been delayed multiple times—the current deadline is March 30.

ALEA released the RFP in October as part of plan to complete the bidding process last year. However, officials chose to delay the RFP deadline after multiple potential bidders indicated that they would not participate unless proposals were due after the FirstNet nationwide contractor was named.

At that point, ALEA established a fluid RFP deadline that would be 15 days after FirstNet made its nationwide contractor announcement, but that strategy was reconsidered after legal documents noted that the contractor award would not be made until at least March 1. Those legal documents are part of litigation by Rivada Mercury—a consortium led by Rivada Networks—protesting its exclusion from the “competitive range” of the nationwide FirstNet procurement, leaving the AT&T bidding team as the only entity remaining in the “competitive range,” according to multiple sources.