MiCTA FBOS 2014 RFP Questions and Concerns

This is a continually updated list of questions and concerns about the FBOS 2014 RPF process and responses. If your question is not posted on this list, please send your question(s) to rfp@mictatech.org.

Q: There has been some debate here so will you please verify if there is one RFP or two separate RFP’s for E-rate and  one for Health Connect Fund?

A: The MiCTA “dual” process is unique and can be confusing.  MiCTA worked out the process and procedures with the FCC and although some documents are required separate from the MiCTA Internal process, like E-Rate 470 ITR, the FCC agreed with MiCTA that only one RFP response would be required for both the Internal and E-Rate/HCF process. 

The evaluation team is given instructions as to the eligible services and equipment for both the E-Rate and Healthcare Connect Fund programs and several of them already have extensive experience with E-Rate.  I provide them with an overview of the HCF program. 

The FCC has received a copy of the MiCTA Fiber Build-Out Services RFP and we will apprise them of the results once the process has been completed.

Q: Can you please let me know how many miles are being built in this RFP? 

A: The purpose of the RFP is to establish Master Contracts that any MiCTA member can use , so they do not have to go out for bid for the same services. No single project is represented by the RFP, but the potential for many projects exists. A mile estimate is not possible due to the global nature of the RFP. Hope this answers your question.

Q: I had a question about Section 1 page 3 "In areas where facilities must be constructed, the applicant HCP consortium will own and operate the resultant network." 

We participate in USAC's E-rate program already, and we construct and lease our networks to the school districts. The school districts do not own the fiber networks. From what I've researched so far, the HCF program is a similar set-up as the E-rate program, so we were under the impression that, if selected as a service provider, we would construct and lease the network to the customer, whether they participated in the HCF program or not. 

A: At first read the “Eligibility” of funding for Fiber in both the USF E-Rate and Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) programs appear to be similar.  However, there are some distinct differences between the two programs with regard to Leased Dark Fiber and a Consortium Constructed and Owned Network (HCF).

E-Rate - Category One

FIBER - Leased Dark Fiber

On Premises - maintenance, modulating electronics, and special construction costs to connect the fiber to the eligible entity’s facilities are eligible. 

Off Premises - Outside the entity’s property line monthly charges and maintenance provided as a component of leased dark fiber to maintain reliable operation are eligible.  However, special construction charges, re-routing of fiber and purchase and ownership of modulating electronics related to lighting dark fiber outside the eligible entity’s property line is not eligible.

Healthcare Connect Fund - Under the HCF there are two Eligible Categories of Funding for Applicants, Individual and Consortium.

Individual/Consortium Applicant - Leased Dark Fiber – Recurring charges (lease of fiber and/or lighting equipment, recurring maintenance charges are Eligible for both on and off premises.

Consortium Applicant – In addition all of the following are also Eligible

Q: Who is eligible for MiCTA Membership?

A: In order to be eligible for MiCTA membership the organization must be…

Q: Is this RFP just for construction or does it include designing the fiber network, and cost estimating to build as well?

A: The RFP does cover design and cost estimating in section 6.15, Engineering/Design. This also includes project management as well.  

Q: Can vendors include our lit fiber services and have this considered as part of the award?

A: Yes, both lit and dark fiber services are included in the RFP. Please see section 6.16 on page 25 of the RFP. 

Q: Is the response deadline firm? Will there be an extension?

A: No extensions will be given at this time. If an extention is granted, all current and potential vendors will be notified. 

Q: We aren’t understanding “policy regarding the presentation of competing program information”.  Is MiCTA stating that other member agreement programs that we may be involved with can not be discussed with MiCTA members?

Please describe the potential vendor's policy regarding the presentation of competing program information to MiCTA members and membership-eligible prospects.

A: The competing program policy question is not intended to limit a vendor in any way from using an existing contract. We are just seeking opportunities to have our MSA s presented as a solution, too.

Q: In Section 9 of the RFP are the following items regarding finacnial reports, income statements, etc.. required for the RFP or are they required if awarded the project?

A: We prefer to receive the information in question as part of the proposal. If that is not possible, due to time constraints, the response should state that and also that the requested information will be available if a contract is offered to the vendor, at the time of contract negotiations.