FirstNet extends due date for RFP bids to May 31
Teams making proposals for the right to build and operate FirstNet’s nationwide public-safety broadband network will have an additional 18 days to prepare their bids, as FirstNet today extended the request-for-proposal (RFP) deadline to May 31.
FirstNet’s decision comes less than two weeks after “multiple” potential offerors—the term FirstNet uses for bidding teams—submitted their Capability Statements, which are designed to outline each team’s ability to meet all of the objectives included in the RFP.
“Our decision to extend the deadline for final proposals was driven by both the volume and nature of the capability statements as well as requests for extensions we’ve received from interested parties,” FirstNet CEO Mike Poth said in a prepared statement. “We believe this date affords prospective offerors the opportunity to fine-tune their proposals and finalize any teaming arrangements and/or subcontractors, and we remain on track to award by Nov. 1.”
Today’s announcement marks the second time that FirstNet has extended the deadline for offerors to make proposals in response to the RFP. Earlier this year, FirstNet announced a two-week extension that delayed the due date for Capability Statements from March 17 to March 31, as well extending the final-bid deadline from April 29 to May 13.
All potential offerors that submitted Capability Statements by the March 31 deadline have received responses about their submittals, and some have received written assessments, according to FirstNet spokeswoman April Ward. Each offeror that received an assessment has the opportunity to request an in-person meeting with evaluators to get more detailed feedback about its Capability Statement, she said.
“That’s the next step,” Ward said.
Although FirstNet officials encouraged offerors to participate in the Capability Statement process, it is an optional process. Offerors can make final proposals without submitting a Capability Statement, and submitting a Capability Statement does not obligate an offeror to submit a final bid.
Despite extending the deadline for RFP bids by more than a month, FirstNet officials continue to target awarding the 25-year contract to build and operate the nationwide public-safety broadband network by Nov. 1, which is a week before U.S. voters will go to the polls to elect a new president. While Nov. 1 remains the target award date, Poth repeatedly has noted that the timing of the actual award could be impacted by multiple factors, including the number of offerors that submit proposals.