LA-RICS contracted Motorola Solutions to build the LTE network after being awarded a $154.6 million Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP), which required a 20% local match. As a result, the federal government owns 80% of the LA-RICS LTE network, and LA-RICS owns 20%, which is why the proposed agreement with AT&T requires federal approvals, according to the proposed agreement.

In the spring of 2015, NTIA suspended the LA-RICS LTE project after the city of Los Angeles withdrew from LA-RICS and the scope of the broadband project shrunk dramatically, with the number of cell sites deployed being decreased by more than 65% from the original plan of 232 sites.

In addition to the 75 “Round 1” LTE sites, LA-RICS officials hope to enhance coverage in the region by using $34 million in unspent BTOP grant funds to pay for the deployment of additional “Round 2” LTE sites. Deployment of these “Round 2” cell sites would have to be completed before LA-RICS would receive the latter $6 million, which would be paid in two installments, according to the proposed agreement.

Meanwhile, Rivada Networks—a confirmed bidder participating in the California RFP process—said it is willing to pay LA-RICS more than double the amount that AT&T would pay under the proposed agreement

“Yet again, AT&T is shortchanging public safety with a low-ball offer for LA-RICS’s assets,” Rivada Networks Chairman and CEO Declan Ganley said yesterday in a prepared statement. “Rivada’s bid to build a truly statewide public-safety broadband network for all of California went in last week, and it included a far more generous offer for the LA-RICS network.

“This $12 million offer to LA-RICS is just the latest demonstration that, without competition, public safety gets taken to the cleaners. Los Angeles deserves better, and California deserves better.”