Rivada Weighing Appeal After Court Loss in FirstNet Bid

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Rivada Mercury is considering whether to appeal a judge’s decision denying the company’s claim that its bid to be a provider for the FirstNet contract was improperly excluded. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington heard oral arguments in this case, which are not public, earlier in the month and a decision was expected soon, Inside Towers reported.

Rivada announced it will now work directly with states that chose to opt-out of the FirstNet federal solution. The company, which is a consortium comprised of Intel, Ericsson, Nokia and Fujitsu, says it’s working with New Hampshire on an alternative plan — should that state ultimately decide to opt-out — and is bidding on similar work in other states. “We applaud New Hampshire’s recognition of Rivada’s experienced management team, technology, and technical expertise and believe many other states will make a similar selection,” said Rivada co-CEO Joe Euteneuer.

In reaction to the court decision, FirstNet CEO Mike Poth characterized the decision as “positive” for both FirstNet and the public safety community. “FirstNet intends to move expeditiously to finalize the contract for the nationwide public safety broadband network,” he said in a statement.

The court decision likely means AT&T, now the sole bidder, will be awarded the 25-year FirstNet contract to build and maintain the nationwide public-safety broadband network, reported Urgent Communications. That’s unless Rivada appeals.  

AT&T too, was pleased with the court ruling, saying in a statement that the decision “allows FirstNet to select its partner and jumpstart the process.” AT&T said it would be “honored” to be selected.

“No matter who wins the final contract, we hope FirstNet partners with CCA members to provide robust service in rural America,” Steve Berry, CCA President & CEO told Inside Towers.  “One of the fastest ways to ensure FirstNet can connect with rural areas is by working with CCA members – many of whom already serve some of the most remote and hard-to-reach areas of the county.  Competitive carriers are ready and willing to work with FirstNet, and first responders and consumers in these areas will greatly benefit from robust coverage in times of need,” he said.

“FirstNet has made its choice. Now it is time for states to make theirs,” added Rivada’s Euteneuer. “Those that stand by idly will be forced into a federal solution that may or may not suit their needs or budgets. We look forward to working with the states to ensure that they receive a network equal to the promise made to public safety when FirstNet was created.”

March 21, 2017   

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