New York City officials are in the process of evaluating more than a dozen responses to a request for information (RFI) via which the city is seeking insights regarding the best approach to integrating its broadband communications with the nationwide public-safety broadband network that will be built by FirstNet.

At least 14 entities have responded to the RFI, according to Charles Dowd, assistant chief of the New York Police Department (NYPD) and a member of the FirstNet board.

“We’re pleased with the number of responses we got,” Dowd said. “It’s a broad spectrum of companies that have responded.”

New York City’s public-safety departments will be among the city agencies that will evaluate the RFI responses, which will be shared with FirstNet, Dowd said.

“We will be sharing that information with FirstNet. That was a fundamental part of our plan,” he said. “Our goal was to get that information, understand what was potentially out there, and share that information with FirstNet.

“We’re going to work closely with FirstNet to understand the requirements of New York City, and we hope that information helps in other areas. I’m sure it will.”

Dowd identified the RFI as the “first step” in the city’s process to formulate a broadband-communications plan, but he said “I’m not prepared to say” what the next step will be.

“All options are open,” Dowd said.

Within the public-safety community, there was some speculation that New York City’s decision to release its own RFI might be a sign that the city was looking to do something separate from FirstNet. That is not the case, Dowd emphasized.

“I did get one question from a person who asked, ‘Does the city want to go off and do its own thing?’ Absolutely not,” Dowd said. “I want to stress that this is all designed as a process to work closely with FirstNet to make sure that the city understood what its needs were and could share that information with FirstNet.”