Updated FirstNet Operational Architecture would make winning bidder responsible for most functions
FirstNet’s winning partner—likely a team of commercial partners—would have ownership of more than 63% of the system functions, with public-safety entities being responsible primarily for user-management issues regarding devices and applications, according to FirstNet’s updated Operational Architecture document released earlier this month.
In its draft RFP released in the spring, FirstNet proposed an Operational Architecture outlining 615 functions the proposed public-safety nationwide broadband network should provide to users. Respondents were asked to provide input on: (1) should functions be added, subtracted or reorganized to the proposed list, and (2) what entity—FirstNet, public safety or the winning partner (offerer)—should have ownership of that particular function.
Based on the input received from the draft RFP, FirstNet expanded the Operational Architecture to include 647 functions, with ownership being divided in the following manner:
- Offerer would be responsible for 413 functions (these items are colored yellow on the chart);
- FirstNet would be responsible for 140 functions (these items are colored green);
- Public safety would be responsible for 33 functions (these items are colored blue) ; and
- Some combination of offerer, FirstNet and public safety would share responsibility for the remaining 61 functions (these items are colored orange), with most of the sharing being done between FirstNet and the offerer.
For public-safety entities, 30 of the 33 functions it would own under this model are concentrated in the user-management area that includes managing devices, managing applications and activating users on the network (and taking them off, when appropriate). Public safety would have shared responsibility with the offerer on agency/state network monitoring, customer-service development, and public safety would work with FirstNet and the offerer on end-user training and device life-cycle management.
About two-thirds of the proposed 140 FirstNet-owned functions fall under the “FirstNet Program Management and Governance” category and network life-cycle management. In addition, FirstNet would be responsible for ensuring that the system meets all federal security guidelines, interacting with federal officials, and it would have approval authority for myriad strategies and policies that would be implemented by the offerer.
Of the proposed 61 shared functions, about 70% involve shared responsibilities between the offerer and FirstNet. Public safety is involved in the remaining shared functions.
Under the updated Operational Architecture, the offerer would own the vast majority of functions regarding sales, product management, network management, engineering and network operations, as well as services program management and contract compliance.
Changes in the updated Operational Architecture include 32 new functions—many of which specify who should be responsible for the development and approval of various procedures and strategies—and the reorganization and restructuring of two areas:
- Sections A.1.2.3 & A.1.2.4 from the Original Special Notice that was released with the draft RFP documents can now be found under A.22.214.171.124, and
- Section A.126.96.36.199 from the Original Special Notice can now be found under A.188.8.131.52.7.
Current plans call for FirstNet to issues its final request for proposal (RFP) by the end of this year, and offerers would make their proposals by mid-2016.