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Request for Information - Wireless Broadband Initiative

Request for Information

Wireless Broadband Initiative

Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) would like to solicit interest of municipalities or wireless internet service providers (WISPs) to deploy wireless broadband services in SEC's service territory through targeted co-locations on SEC owned tower infrastructure. This Request for Information (RFI) is intended to gather information on how a partnership between SEC and a WISP (or multiple WISPs) would be structured and investigate strategies to increase broadband coverage to the communities in which SEC serves.

 

All information received in this RFI will be jointly reviewed by SEC and Milestone Communications (Milestone). Milestone Communications will act as SEC’s third party management partner to help facilitate deployment by any WISP on SEC owned assets and will act as the main point of contact and reviewing party for site design, leasing, permitting, and installation.

 

Responses to this RFI are not offers and cannot be accepted by SEC to form any binding contracts. All responses to this notice will be treated as information only. All costs associated with responding to this RFI will be the sole responsibility of the respondent. SEC will not be responsible for any costs incurred in furnishing responsive information to SEC or otherwise participating in this RFI process.

Overview:

SEC owns forty-one (41) telecommunications towers that are suitable and approved for the installation of wireless equipment. These towers are geographically distributed throughout fifteen (15) municipalities in which there is a need for improved broadband service. Details of these assets are included as Exhibit A.

 

Definitions:

“Broadband”, as defined in the legislation, means internet access at speeds greater than 25 Mbps download speed and 3 Mbps upload speed.

"Unserved by broadband", as defined in legislation, means a designated area in which less than 10 percent of residential and commercial units are capable of receiving Broadband service.

"Wireless Internet Service Provider", WISP, means a provider of wireless internet that is typically using unlicensed FCC frequencies as part of its broadband initiative.

Requested Information:

  1. From municipalities, or any other locality within SEC’s service territory interested in participating in this program:
    1. Which area or locality are you responding on behalf of?
    2. Provide an overview of the Broadband availability for your specified area. What specific areas are Unserved by broadband?
    3. Is your locality already working with a non-governmental ISP to expand Broadband coverage in your area?
    4. Have you applied for or been awarded any grant rewards associated with the provision of Broadband internet services?
    5. Can you provide data to support your level of service (Mbps)?
    6. Are there one or more existing fiber providers at all of your key economic development sites? (business parks, industrial parks, technology parks)
    7. Does your area or locality have publicly owned facilities or institutions that are considered Unserved?
  1. From non-governmental WISPs interested in participating in this program:
    1. Provide a technical and physical description of your existing network capabilities and geographies served.
    2. What information would you need to evaluate the coverage and effectiveness of co-location on SECs existing infrastructure?
    3. Provide an example of your typical Radio Frequency Design, including antenna type and dimensions, frequencies used, mounting and mount attachments, number and type of cables.
    4. Provide a document or summary outlining your operations strategy within SEC’s service territory.
    5. Provide a summary of your company’s financial stability.
    6. Provide a summary of your power and fiber backhaul requirements.
    7. What ground lease space would be needed?
    8. Can you provide data to support your level of service (Mbps)?
    9. Provide a high level diagram showing the connectivity requirements needed as part of your proposal.
    10. Have you partnered with other electric utilities before?
    11. Please describe the WISP services that you are able to provide.
    12. Any other information that may be relevant for SEC to consider.

Submission Requirements:

An electronic version (PDF or Microsoft Word format) should be provided to Southside Electric Cooperative at the email addresses given below.

After reviewing responses SEC may request additional information,or may schedule individual meetings with any respondent to gain additional information about the expression of interest.

Submissions should include more than general marketing content; in particular:

  1. A cover letter
  2. Numbered responses to each item listed above in Required Information
  3. Respondent’s relevant history and capabilities, including references
  4. Outline of respondent’s products or services
  5. Relevant pricing estimates

 

Questions and Point of Contact: Rob Brooks Rob.Brooks@sec.coop

And Chris Harold Charold@MilestoneCorp.com

Submission Date:

Electronic responses to this notice are requested to be emailed to the above contacts no later than Monday, July 13, 2020.

Confidentiality:

 

Southside Electric Cooperative recognizes that certain information contained in responses submitted may be considered confidential and, as permitted by applicable law, will treat as confidential any information clearly labeled as such. If SEC is formally requested and required by any regulatory or judicial authority, or is otherwise required by law, to disclose information with regard to a proposal, SEC will disclose such information in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. All responses received may be held for an extended period of time or destroyed. In no case will any responses be returned to the originator.

 

EXHIBIT A

 

Tower Specifications:

 

Total Towers: 41

RAD Height Ranges: 55’- 245’ Distribution Among Municipality:

  • Amelia (2)
  • Appomattox (1)
  • Bedford (3)
  • Brunswick (1)
  • Campbell (4)
  • Charlotte (4)
  • Chesterfield (1)
  • Dinwiddie (5)
  • Lunenburg (3)
  • Mecklenburg (1)
  • Moneta (1)
  • Nottoway (7)
  • Pittsylvania (2)
  • Powhatan (3)
  • Prince Edward (3)