A federal judge today ruled against Rivada Mercury’s protest against the FirstNet procurement protest, a move that is expected to set the stage for AT&T to be awarded the 25-year contract to build and maintain the much-anticipated nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN).

U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Elaine Kaplan issued rulings denying Rivada Mercury’s motion to have the proposal from its bidding consortium considered in the “competitive range” stage of the procurement process for the FirstNet contract. AT&T’s bidding team is the lone entity left in the “competitive range” stage of the procurement, according to documents filed by Rivada Mercury and AT&T. Given this, industry and procurement sources believe AT&T will be awarded the nationwide FirstNet contract, unless subsequent legal action prevents it from happening.  

Kaplan also granted motions from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)—representing FirstNet—and AT&T, which intervened in the case on behalf of FirstNet.  Details of the decisions were not made public, as the court has sealed most substantive documents filed in the litigation to protect proprietary and sensitive information.