Connect with us

International Circuit

FBI expands use of FirstNet services

The FBI has signed on for FirstNet mobility services to support its day-to-day and emergency operations.

The FBI will expand its use of the nationwide public safety wireless broadband network using FirstNet Ready devices such as smartphones, air cards modems and more. The five-year, $92 million deal with AT&T, the company managing the deployment of FirstNet, represents the largest commitment to the network by a law enforcement or public safety agency.

Several Justice Department agencies already use FirstNet, including the Antitrust Division, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Attorneys, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Those agencies can expand their usage through the new contract, said the company.

The DOJ signed a $1 billion contract with AT&T under the GSA’s $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions next-generation telecommunications contract in July 2019. That contract included DOJ agencies’ use of FirstNet, but didn’t cover the FBI.

The FBI contract’s path reflects the rivalry between AT&T and Verizon, which have competed for years in the public safety and emergency responder wireless communications market.

AT&T and Verizon began battling over the FBI contract in 2019, when an initial blanket purchase agreement through the GSA’s Schedule 70 was awarded to Verizon. The BPA, with a potential $300 million ceiling, supported 70,000 lines, and included handsets, air cards and modems.

AT&T had protested the initial Verizon award. The FBI pulled the award back and reevaluated the contract. Another round of protests followed, with the agency re-awarding the contract to AT&T this past July. Verizon immediately protested the award on pricing and performance issues, which led to a Nov. 3 denial by the Government Accountability Office.

Other federal agencies, including those in the Defense Department have already joined the FirstNet network.

In September, the Army’s Installation Management Command announced it was signing up over 70 bases for FirstNet devices and services. A firm-fixed-price task order will provide IMCOM with AT&T FirstNet wireless devices and services for Army public safety officers, first responders and emergency officials at approximately 73 Army locations in the U.S.

AT&T is also working with Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida to equip first responders and eligible public safety users with FirstNet access and equipment and get 5G deployed to what is envisioned as a “smart base of the future.” A separate job at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada has AT&T rolling out both 5G infrastructure and the FirstNet public safety network there. GCN

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2024 Communications Today

error: Content is protected !!