FirstNet’s staff yesterday said it is prepared to act quickly on tasks necessary to deploy a nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) while eagerly anticipating a key court decision. Meanwhile, FirstNet board members opted against voting on a delegation resolution that had been on the meeting agenda.

After meeting in a lengthy closed session during the second half of yesterday’s meeting, the FirstNet board did not mention a resolution on the agenda that would have provided for “delegation of approval to complete NPSBN acquisition.” If passed, the resolution would have allowed the FirstNet board to designate someone on behalf of the board—without requiring the full board to reconvene—to take certain actions, presumably to facilitate quicker completion.

Prior to the meeting, sources indicated that the delegation resolution was much more likely to pass if the U.S. Court of Federal Claims had ruled in favor of the U.S. government in the FirstNet procurement case before the board meeting. That did not occur, and the decision still has not been released as of this article’s publication.

FirstNet Chief Counsel Jason Karp said the court ruling could be released “just about any day.” One key preliminary decision made by the court was to allow FirstNet staff members to continue their preparation work as the legal proceedings have been ongoing, he said.

“There was no injunctive order or temporary restraining order that the judge issued in that case, so it did permit FirstNet to continue to move forward with all of the activities associated with the procurement, short of the award,” Karp said during the board meeting.

“As you’ve heard, the team has been doing that. I know that FirstNet has been working very closely with our acquisition partner—DOI [the U.S. Department of Interior]—to take the steps necessary to ensure that they’re fully prepared to move forward, based on whatever decision the court issues—hopefully, in the next several days.”

Indeed, FirstNet staff members indicated that they have utilized the four-month court proceeding to prepare to act quickly when a nationwide award can be made, particularly in the areas of state planning, network operation and outreach.

FirstNet President TJ Kennedy said 13 integrated task teams have been preparing to take actions quickly when the award is made.

“I can tell you that the team is absolutely ready to execute on this immediately,” Kennedy said. “We have to wait on the key court decision and get to an award, but the team is ready to go. They’ve been preparing all of the elements and have things loaded, so they can start off without a hitch and they can literally be all in the same room and ready to move forward.

“Those teams have been here working on this. I think the board should be rest assured that they are prepared and ready to go on these 13 task teams that will literally allow us to hit the ground running at full speed.”