FirstNet may be taking longer than many in the public-safety community had hoped to build the nationwide public-safety broadband network. However, the fact that that system is on the cusp of reality is remarkable, given the many challenges and doubts that have been overcome during the past decade.
Public safety may have the greatest interest in the outcome of a court decision that could clarify when FirstNet will be able to award its nationwide contract, but many other sectors also could be impacted.
Next week, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims is expected to receive the final written brief in the lawsuit filed by Rivada Mercury protesting the FirstNet procurement process. How long will it be until the court reaches a decision, which promises to impact the timing of FirstNet’s deployment nationwide?
FirstNet officials say they are ready to proceed, but states and first-responder agencies are awaiting the outcome of a legal proceeding to get a better understanding of the timing issues they may need to address related to the much-anticipated nationwide public-safety broadband network.
Many advocates of the opt-out alternative to FirstNet cite the option as a way for a state to exert greater control over the public-safety broadband network within its borders. There is no doubt that an opt-out decision would create much more work for a state, but the level of operational control may not be the kind that proponents envisioned.