GO Virginia Region 3 is accepting Requests for Qualifications from organizations to assess and develop a regional strategy for broadband deployment in the Region 3 footprint, that includes an assessment of incumbent providers and existing on-site broadband coverage. GO Virginia is an economic development capacity-building program of the Commonwealth of Virginia intended to grow and diversify Virginia’s economy and create higher-paying jobs. It encourages collaboration between private sector companies, workforce, education and government in each Region. GO Virginia recently approved a policy that enables its funding to support middle-mile broadband projects as well as regional broadband planning; and projects that leverage broadband for digital literacy and internet relevance programming related to business growth and expansion opportunities. These efforts complement the significant funding made available through the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative (VATI). GO Virginia Region 3 consists of the localities in Planning District 12 (Counties of Patrick, Henry and Pittsylvania and the Cities of Martinsville and Danville); Planning District 13 (Counties of Halifax, Mecklenburg and Brunswick); and Planning District 14 (Counties of Charlotte, Buckingham, Lunenburg, Nottoway, Amelia, Prince Edward, and Cumberland). Responses are due by Friday, December 6, 2019.
The Council is seeking Requests for Qualifications that demonstrate the responders’ ability to develop a regional broadband strategy that provides a framework for the Council which can be used to guide its investment decisions. It is the intent of Region 3 to ultimately develop a regional broadband strategy that aligns with the policy adopted by the GO Virginia State Board on September 10, 2019. The strategy will include the following. The deliverable would be completed by May 30, 2020:
- An assessment of existing current broadband deployment plans and strategies at the local and sub-region level;
- An assessment of which incumbent providers currently actively provide broadband service in Region 3 (including specific service territories).
- An assessment of and recommendations to leverage electric utilities in Region 3 including Dominion Power, AEP, Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, Southside Electric Cooperative.
- Recommendations for optimizing the ongoing efforts to result in ubiquitous broadband coverage within 5 years in Region 3, prioritizing areas that are development sites, existing employers, commercial centers, and public and community venues.
Submission of Responses:
Interested responders should submit a Statement of Qualifications that is no more than 5 pages and that addresses the responder’s ability to develop a strategy document that includes the deliverables noted above.
At a minimum, the Statement of Qualifications should include the following:
- The name and address of the Firm/Individual and the states in which incorporated.
- The name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address of the designated contact and principals authorized to conduct negotiations for the Firm/Individual.
- A brief description of the Firm/Individual’s interest in performing the required services.
- Overview of Firm/Individual, including size of organization and types of services provided.
- Description of previous experience with the proposed services and products.
- Description of previous experience with Virginia localities/regions and/or with rural broadband strategy development.
- Applicable individual and corporate Virginia licensing and/or certification information.
- References that can validate the capabilities of the Firm/Individual’s experience with broadband assessments and strategy development.
Generally, the Region 3 Council will consider the Firm/Individual’s overall suitability to provide the services outlined in the request within the time, budget and operational constraints that may be present, and the offeror’s background and experience related to these services.
The Region 3 Council reserves the right to determine it will not proceed with a contract for services. Firms/Individuals will not be compensated for time spent preparing responses to this Request for Qualifications.
The Region 3 Contract Manager will conduct the initial review and evaluation of responses. The Region 3 Council may appoint a Review Committee to if needed to support the staff’s efforts. The ultimate decision to proceed with a contract for services rests with the Executive Committee of the Region 3 Council.
The responses will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Qualifications and relevant experience of the firm, subconsultants, and all proposed staff.
- Familiarity with GO Virginia and its Broadband Task Force.
- Familiarity with the Governor’s Broadband Initiative and its partner organization Commonwealth Connect.
- Familiarity with recent Virginia legislation related to broadband
- Familiarity with the role of electric cooperatives, Dominion Power and AEP in broadband deployment
- Capacity of the firm to perform the services within a within a 6-month timeframe beginning in January 2020.
- Quality of performance for past similar projects.