We hope everyone has had a great summer! The FirstNet Colorado (FNC) team has been busy getting ready for the final Opt-in/Opt-out decision. FirstNet/AT&T delivered the initial state plan on June 19th, which initiated the countdown to the final decision process. The plan, in the format of an interactive website, highlighted the proposed coverage, initial rate plans, network architecture and other details of the national plan. Approximately 150 stakeholders from across the state were given access to the secure website to review the content and provide feedback. In addition to the individual review, the FNC team coordinated several working meetings with FirstNet and AT&T to provide the opportunity for in-depth discussions. By the end of the review process, Colorado submitted over 140 unique comments and a report outlining key decision criteria based on interviews with local subject matter experts.
In general the feedback from local stakeholders centered on two overarching themes: the state plan lacked sufficient detail for leaders to make an informed decision and the coverage maps in the plan significantly overstated the existing coverage of AT&T. In general, commenters sought additional details on security, initial and ongoing costs, specifics of the buildout process and on how AT&T would achieve proposed coverage.
With Colorado’s comments in hand, FirstNet/AT&T now have up to 45 days (September 19th) to review our comments, modify the state plan accordingly and present the final state plan to the Governor. Once the final state plan is presented, the 90 day ‘shot clock’ for the final decision will begin.
So that’s the scoop on one half of the coin! For the alternative plan, the FNC team issued Phase II guidance to both qualified bidders, Rivada and Macquarie, in July. This guidance outlines the final proposal requirements and expectations. The final proposals are due September 14th and will be scored by the review committee. Our goal remains the same regarding the Opt-out review; we want enough information to fully vet both the Opt-in and Opt-out options so that Colorado can make an educated, informed decision.
With the final decision coming this fall, the FNC team will be coordinating several regional meetings to review all the information with local stakeholders - we desire as much feedback as possible for the recommendation to the Governor. At these meetings we will review both the final state plan from FirstNet/AT&T and the proposed solution from the chosen alternative plan vendor. Check back here soon for details on these meetings!
In addition to these meetings we will be providing regional ‘Review Checklists’ that will guide you through the key elements of the state plan so that your specific jurisdiction can review and make their recommendation for Opt-In/Opt-Out as well as considerations for adoption of the future network.
As always, we are focused on ensuring your voice is heard in this important decision! The FirstNet Colorado Governing Body (FNCGB) will be the mechanism to funnel user feedback to the Governor for the final decision. The FNCGB has been steadfast in their dedication to ensuring a fair and informative process; we couldn’t ask for a better group to lead this effort. Once the final state plan is released, we will be reaching out to you to coordinate the final push!