BLM Needs IT Help to Keep Burning Man From Flaring Up

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Photo by Carnaval.com Studios

With the Burning Man Festival bringing nearly 75,000 people to the middle of the Nevada desert on public land for a “temporary community dedicated to radical self-expression and self-reliance,” managing the crowd takes a little bit of help – and IT.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a solicitation on Tuesday, May 28 for comprehensive network services to support public safety efforts at the 2019 Burning Man Festival, which is set for Aug. 25 to Sept. 2. The BLM solicitation is open until June 13.

The solicitation notes that BLM is looking to establish an Incident Command System (ICS) for the event, and needs a wide range of services, from network design and Wi-Fi access to cable installation and microwave towers at the event and nearby BLM facilities.

“The contractor shall provide a fully functional computer network, technical services, technical support, software applications and hardware to ensure a fully functional, operational and reliable law enforcement data network and incident network,” the solicitation states.

Among the services that BLM needs are cameras for monitoring the crowd and those in the BLM jail, LTE augmentation to support BLM headquarters, and certainty that the network meets high availability standards (except for power issues, which fall on BLM).

In addition to support for BLM, the solicitation notes that “Burning Man, LLC., has expressed interest in using the Government selected contractor to provide additional network service and support for Burning Man.”

On the security front, the solicitation notes that the network will need to meet Department of Justice standards, Nevada Criminal Justice Information System standards, and may need to pass an assessment and authorization from the Department of the Interior before receiving an authority to operate.

Contractor personnel will need to be on-site at the Burning Man Festival – but not get too lost in the festivities.

“Contractor must have dedicated technical support personnel available to respond within 15 minutes in the event of network failure to technical support requests,” the solicitation notes.

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