REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP)
TO PROVIDE BROADBAND UTILITY BUSINESS
PLAN AND DESIGN
RFP #: 2020-024VF
March 9, 2020
Modified March 20, 2020- Dates Only
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING
EDWARD A. RATH COUNTY OFFICE BUILDING
95 FRANKLIN STREET
BUFFALO, NEW YORK 14202
County of Erie
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
BROADBAND UTILITY BUSINESS PLAN AND DESIGN
The County of Erie, New York (“County”) is seeking proposals from qualified communication and
technology firms (“Consultant”) to provide customer outreach/ commitment, business planning, and
design services for a proposed municipally-owned Open Access Network (“OAN”).
The project is being funded by Erie County.
Access to high speed broadband internet is a necessity for the County’s economy and quality of life.
High speed broadband internet is a prerequisite to educating our children; growing our economy; and
providing a quality of life which attracts and retains citizens. The intent of the County’s efforts
relative to broadband is to:
• Increase access to high speed broadband internet for all residents of Erie County; and
• Increase competition within the residential and commercial broadband industry.
2. BACKGROUND AND GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT
In 2017, the County contracted with ECC Technologies, Inc. (“ECC”) to produce the Erie County
Broadband Feasibility Study (“Study”). The purpose of the Study was to assess the current status of
broadband within Erie County and develop guidance for the planning and development of broadband
The Study provided an overview of current broadband infrastructure, market analysis, GAP Analysis
and a variety of recommendations to improve broadband accessibility. The most proactive
recommendation is for the County to pursue the development of an OAN to create the infrastructure
necessary to expand broadband access throughout the County. In 2019, County Executive Mark C.
Poloncarz announced that the County would pursue the development of an OAN named ErieNet.
The Study provided the starting point for the development of ErieNet which included creating a
conceptual design of the network, a financial pro forma, estimated construction cost, annual
operations and maintenance costs.
The selected Consultant will provide the information necessary to guide further decision making
regarding ErieNet. The Consultant will provide customer outreach services to identify and secure
preliminary commitments from key large customers including last mile Internet Service Providers
(“ISP”). The engagement will also include the potential design of ErieNet and production of a
business plan. The full Scope of Services is further outlined below in Section 5.
Proposers will have access to a copy of the entire Study upon execution of a Non-Disclosure
3. GENERAL INFORMATION AND REQUIREMENTS
A. Key Dates
March 9, 2020
April 3, 2020
April 14, 2020
April 30, 2020
RFP Release Date
Question Submission Deadline
Addendum available on website
Proposals Due by 12 PM
B. Registration - All firms wishing to participate in this process must register
electronically with Mariely Ortiz, Senior Planner, at firstname.lastname@example.org. All further
information including addendums and contact from the County will be sent electronically.
Following registration, if a proposer desires to review the full unredacted Erie County
Broadband Feasibility Study (Study) they may through the execution of a Non-Disclosure
Agreement which will be made available at the time of registration.
A redacted version of the Study is available at:
SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS
A. Proposals must be received by Erie County Department of Environment and Planning
(Attention: Thomas R. Hersey, Jr. Commissioner, Erie County Department of
Environment and Planning, Room 1077, Rath Building, 95 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY
14202) no later than by 12:00 p.m. on April 30, 2020.
Submissions by e-mail or fax will not be accepted. The RFP Issuer will reject proposals
received after the date and time noted above. All proposals must be sent to the County
of Erie as noted above. One (1) original, six (6) copies and one (1) electronic copy in PDF
format on CD or flash drive of all proposal documents must be submitted in sealed envelopes
clearly labeled with the proposer’s name, the proposer’s address, the words "PROPOSAL
DOCUMENTS." Proposals may be withdrawn personally or in writing provided that the
County of Erie, the RFP Issuer, receives the withdrawal request prior to the time and date the
proposals are scheduled to be opened. Proposals are considered valid, and may not be
withdrawn, cancelled or modified, for one hundred twenty (120) days after the opening
date, to give the RFP Issuer sufficient time to review the proposals, investigate the proposers'
qualifications, secure any required municipal approvals, and execute an agreement with the
successful proposer. An authorized person representing the legal entity of the proposer
must sign the Proposal Form and all other forms included in this RFP.
B. There is no restriction on the length of a proposal; however, respondents are encouraged to be
as concise as possible.
C. Proposers MUST sign the Proposal Certification attached hereto as Schedule “A”.
Unsigned proposals will be rejected.
D. The County does not assume the responsibility or liability for costs incurred by firms
responding to this RFP or to any subsequent requests for interviews, additional information,
submissions, etc. prior to issuance of a contract.
E. All respondents must register electronically with Erie County through Mariely Ortiz, Senior
Planner, at email@example.com. All subsequent notifications or addendums will be sent
only to electronically registered proposing firms.
F. Any requests for RFP interpretations shall be made by April 3, 2020 through e-mail to Mark
Rountree, Principal Planner, at firstname.lastname@example.org. No requests for oral interpretations
via telephone will be accepted. A single response to all questions will be made as outlined in
the schedule. NO COMMUNICATIONS OF ANY KIND WILL BE BINDING AGAINST THE
COUNTY, EXCEPT FOR THE FORMAL WRITTEN RESPONSES TO ANY REQUEST FOR
G. All consultants should understand that Erie County is committed to an open, fair and
transparent selection process. All RFP submissions will be reviewed, objectively scored and
ranked. Short listed firms will be interviewed prior to recommendation for selection.
H. The highest ranking firm after scoring and interviews will be recommended to the Erie
County Legislature for authorization to enter into contract. Scores and ranking of all firms
will be provided to the Legislature and the results will at that time become public record.
I. Proposing firms should understand that to provide for this open and transparent process, more
time will be required. The timeframe from advertisement to contract execution may be up to
five months. Consultants should consider this when scheduling staff time and anticipating
J. Firms are encouraged to include Certified Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises
(MBE/WBE) in their teams in order to meet Erie County’s goals of 15% MBE and 5% WBE
participation. Certified MBE/WBE proposers should include the Erie County certification
letter with the proposal.
K. If proposer is a Veteran Owned Business, proposer should include letter indicating company
is 51% or more Veteran-owned.
L. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
a. Rights Reserved
The County reserves the right to ask any proposer to clarify its proposal or to submit
additional information that the RFP Issuer in its sole discretion deems desirable. THE
COUNTY FURTHER RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REJECT ANY OR ALL
PROPOSALS AND TO WAIVE ANY INFORMALITIES THEREIN.
b. Cost for Preparing Proposal
Each proposer’s costs incurred in developing its proposal are its sole responsibility,
and the RFP Issuer shall have no liability for such cost.
c. Ownership of Proposals
All proposals submitted become the RFP Issuer’s property and will not be returned
to the proposers.