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FirstNet Board Authorizes Award of Contract to Build Network

The FirstNet board Tuesday formally approved the selection of a team to build the national network for first responders, as we previously reported was likely to occur today. FirstNet didn’t announce that AT&T had won the contract, though that choice is widely expected. The contracting process and resulting court case remain shrouded in secrecy amid federal contracting rules and a potential appeal.

#FirstNetBoard has unanimously passed resolution 84 authorizing CEO Mike Poth to move forward with contract award,” FirstNet tweeted. The board apparently rejected a proposal at its last meeting on March 14 to delegate to staff the authority to make an award without further board action, we reported previously. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims recently rejected Rivada Mercury’s protest of its exclusion from the selection process, which allowed FirstNet to move forward on making a selection months later than expected. An AT&T spokesman didn't immediately comment Tuesday morning.

We’ve done a lot to get to today,” said FirstNet Chairwoman Sue Swenson during an ongoing conference call. FirstNet is ready and will start its “100-day plan” to start the launch of the network, Swenson said. The board is “more than ready and more than anxious to get started,” she said. She called the vote a “milestone moment.”