Request for Proposals for Deschutes County Broadband Needs Assessment CED 22-2
Solicitation Number CED 22-2: The Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) is seeking proposals from qualified firms or individuals to construct and develop a Strategic Broadband Needs Assessment, Feasibility Study, and Action Plan, for Deschutes County, Oregon. The Broadband Needs Assessment and Feasibility Study will identify and outline community and regional needs, assess feasibility of solutions, and identify priority projects. The Action Plan will show how to connect Deschutes County’s underserved and disadvantaged communities with fast, reliable, and affordable broadband internet service and will identify projects, appropriate funding sources, and public-private investment opportunities. The project will also include a brief assessment of other findings for Crook and Jefferson Counties’ assessments to identify region-scale needs and opportunities.
Click to review full RFP HERE
Request for Clarification Section:
Q: What specific solutions or technologies will the agency be looking at for this assessment?
A: The assessment that the consultant develops will identify the location and extent of need, then the consultant, with support of the Faster Internet Oregon tool, will be responsible for suggesting technology solutions. See the “SCOPE OF WORK” section of the RFP, pages 11-13 for details on these tasks. You can find the RFP here: www.coic.org/open-procurements
Q: Has there been any sort of funding or timeline allocated for this effort?
A: See RFP for details on available funding and timeline. The “ESTIMATED POTENTIAL VALUE” can be found on page 2. The “ANTICIPATED PROJECT TIMELINE” (although highly speculative and will be revised together between COIC and the selected consultant) can be found on page 14.
Q: Within the document it mentions consultants, RFP development, contract management, etc. Will there be additional solicitations released as a part of this effort? If so, will COIC able to provide what those solicitations will be for?
A: Section 4 on page 10 details COIC’s (the agency issuing the RFP) roles. Consultant roles are within the “SCOPE OF WORK” section, pages 11-13. There will be no additional solicitations released as part of this effort
Q: Will COIC apply for construction funding (such as federal grants) directly or via its member agencies?
A: It’s possible that such could be an outcome of this process, but this RFP process is meant to support the identification of needs and opportunities, and some shaping up of projects, in our communities in Deschutes County. Applications for funding, construction, etc. are not included in this scope of work. One of the final products of this RFP is an action plan that can support COIC, municipalities, local communities, ISPs, etc. in understanding the best opportunities for them to increase broadband availability and access. The ultimate purpose is to use this process to identify competitive grant applications to the state of Oregon and the various federal grant programs.
Q: Does COIC have any existing public/private partnerships for technology services?
A: We do not. COIC is a convener of partners, not a manager or developer of broadband services. COIC will not be managing the build-out, oversight, or operations of technology services. We are the project manager for the Broadband Needs Assessment process on behalf of the Broadband Action Team.
Q: Will the successful respondent to this RFP be barred from proposing products and ISP services for eventual contracts?
Q: The RFP states “The project will also include a brief assessment of other findings for Crook and Jefferson Counties; assessments …” Are the assessments for those two counties already complete? If so, were they completed under the same guidelines as this RFP?
A: Jefferson County’s broadband needs assessment project is underway and being managed by the County, so while there will be similarities with this RFP, they have different guidelines. We are regularly communicating with them to get updates on their process, share lessons learned, etc. Crook County has not indicated if they will be conducting a needs assessment as well but may decide to do so in the coming months. We are meeting with them in June to discuss this. In the meantime, we might be able to perform a “mini-assessment” of needs and opportunities in Crook County. More tbd.
Q: The RFP lists an estimated start date of July, 2022. Is there an anticipated or expected completion date?
A: The consultant, COIC, and the BAT will work together early on to develop a more formalized timeline as part of the Project Management Plan as part of this RFP (see Task 1 under “SCOPE OF SERVICES”, page 11).
Q: Will COIC allow an eventual service provider to charge different rates for equivalent services, allowing discounts for disadvantaged service areas/users?
A: COIC is not looking to manage the ultimate build-out of or oversight of technology services – this is not our role. This is beyond the scope of this RFP.
Q: Has COIC and LinkOregon determined a minimum internet service speed that qualifies as “fast broadband” other than the FCC’s benchmark of 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up (which many consider too slow)? Will COIC be seeking a faster minimum speed for businesses compared to homes?
A: See Task 5 under “SCOPE OF SERVICES” on page 12 of this RFP
Q: Will COIC consider a two-week extension of the proposal due date?
A: We are sorry to say no.
Q: Will COIC allow some work to be completed remotely, with on-site meetings as needed?
A: Yes, remote work is an option. Most regular meetings with the Deschutes County Broadband Action Team will be virtual or hybrid (in-person and virtual combined). We do anticipate some on-site meetings so will be looking for a consultant that can accommodate this, including in-person community outreach sessions.