We are making several important announcements for the Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) program today. In addition to the launch of AERPAW – the third PAWR testbed, which is located in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina (read more here) – we are also releasing a new Request for Proposals for a fourth and final PAWR platform.

This latest RFP has a new focus on rural broadband, and specifically on delivering fast, low-latency, and reliable broadband services to rural users in an efficient and affordable way. In this round, proposers are asked to create a testbed for experimenting with advanced wireless technologies and network architectures – combined with existing technologies – that could transform the existing broadband deployment cost curve. Proposers are asked to envision solutions that can connect end users over a span of tens of kilometers/miles, while supporting low-cost delivery of data rates higher than achievable today.

As with previous RFPs, it’s important for proposers to understand the emphasis the PAWR program places on collaboration among university researchers, private sector companies such as local ISPs and network providers, and local communities. Proposals are also measured on evidence that a testbed will ensure: reproducibility of research, usability for a wide audience, interoperability with other platforms, programmability, open access to the research community, diversity in the context of other PAWR platforms, and sustainability.

The team selected out of this latest solicitation will receive up to $8 million in cash from the National Science Foundation, and up to $8 million in in-kind contributions from the PAWR Industry Consortium. A letter of intent to apply is required by October 25th, and full proposals are due by December 13th. We expect to make site visits with finalists during March 2020, and to announce a platform winner during the third quarter of next year.

Please join us for this final RFP round! Further details and a link to the full RFP are available here.