RFP Questions

This page contains written questions related to the RFP that have been submitted through this website, along with responses from the sponsoring partners.  For more general questions about this cooperative effort, please visit:  http://ncengine.net/ 


Question #1: Is it possible to have the original word document so we can respond efficiently section by section?

Response: The text of the RFP (without the appended Schedules) can be downloaded as a Word Document here.


Question #2: The RFP indicates that the Town of Cary is considering its participation in the NCNGN RFP.  What is the status of Cary’s participation?

Response: The Cary Town Council acted on February 13 to become a full participant in the NCNGN RFP.


Question #3:  Do you have available the location information for anchor clients that need to be connected to this network (street address, lat/long)?

Response:  We have a number of businesses that have expressed strong interest in connecting via the NCNGN, many of whom are listed on the partners page of the general project website (ncngn.net).  The municipalities have also given business zones where they desire connectivity in the community sections.  Many municipalities have listed specific buildings and areas they desire to be connected.  Municipalities have also stated that municipal buildings are intended to be part of the offering.  The universities have also stated areas in consideration for connection.  However, we do not have a listing of the specific buildings, sites, etc. (by address) at this stage.  Once we narrow down the responder list to the group to negotiate with, we will share more detailed locations.


Our intention is that as part of the negotiation and vendor interaction with communities, we will be putting up a web page to allow people and businesses to show interest in being connected.  This will result in detailed locations that will include address information.  We have been waiting until we see what areas the responders are interested in connecting and what information respondents need so we do not make too many requests of our citizenry.


Question #4:  Is there a source for more detailed information on current right-of-ways, conduit, etc. that can be used for the project?

Response:  Available conduit, fiber and rights of way are expected to be discussed during the negotiation phase of the project.  We have detailed fiber and conduit maps.  Rights of way depend on the needs of the vendors.  We have commitments from NCDOT and the utility company to be partners and help to the extent allowed by law.


Question #5:  How can we access the Long Term Fiber Needs and Capital Project FY12 study for the Town of Cary (referenced in the RFP)?

Response:  The Cary project just released its RFP this month.   Responses are due back around March 1. They will not be able to provide any further documents until they complete contract negotiations. The RFP is available here.


Question #6. What is the contractual relationship going to be as a result of this RFP among the Responding Entities, the Service Providers and the business and residential end-users?

Response:  We are working on developing a common base contract for all the municipalities, although expect that each municipality may have very slight variations to the contract that are necessary to meet their local requirements.  All municipalities have already agreed to some common pricing for assets, but a contract will need to be signed with each municipality for any assets or leased space needed by the provider.   Any service contract to a customer (business or residential) will be a direct contract from the provider to that customer.


Question #7. Can you help us estimate how many Universities, Municipalities, etc. can be expected to use this service? We need to quantify in our business case the real revenue opportunity in light of the capital costs involved.

Response:  All municipalities and universities are interested in taking advantage of the service, provided the offerings result in greatly increased bandwidth and reduced pricing for the service.  In addition, the businesses that have endorsed the project are very interested in the potential service.  As referenced in the RFP, the universities alone consume roughly $2.6M worth of commercial bandwidth services today to interconnect remote sites, non-academic facilities, residence halls, and other locations.  We expect that once we down select to providers for negotiation, we will run an outreach program to locate specific demand to identify detailed build out locations.


Question #8. Do you intend for the Network as proposed in the RFP to be in competition with existing or future private networks?

Response:  We have no specific expectation regarding what level or quality of responses the RFP will generate, or how that may impact competition in the region.  As the RFP indicates, we are willing to offer certain existing community assets to any vendor interested in leasing those assets to provide these services.


Question #9. Can electronic GIS shape files of demand maps, low income/housing maps, and city park locations be provided?

Response:  GIS files of as many maps as could be acquired that were included in the RFP have been made available on the website.  

These files are provided for the convenience of responding entities; The RFP issuer makes no assurances as to their accuracy. Click on the files you wish to download:

Carrboro Cary | Chapel Hill Durham | Raleigh | Winston Salem 


Question #10. Regarding Section 3.12.9 Release and Hold Harmless Agreement: AT&T objects to the overly broad “Release and Hold Harmless Agreement” contained in Paragraph 3.12.9. The language should be revised to clarify that the Hold Harmless Agreement is not intended to require Vendor to indemnify the Releasees in the event a third party brings a protest action or other complaint arising from Vendor’s proposal; rather the Hold Harmless Agreement should be limited to claims by Vendor or Vendor’s respective officers, directors, trustees, employees, or agents.

Response:  Section 3.12.9 is revised to clarify that the Release and Hold Harmless Agreement is not intended to require the Vendor to indemnify the Releasees in the event a third party brings a protest action or the complaint arising from the Vendor’s proposal.  The Release and Hold Harmless Agreement is limited to claims by Vendor or its officers, directors, trustees, employees or agents.  The revisions to Section 3.12.9 are underlined in the section below:

3.12.9  Release and Hold Harmless Agreement (Replacement wording)

By submitting a proposal, each Vendor agrees to release and hold harmless the REs, Triangle J. Council of Governments, and the four research Universities and their respective officers, directors, trustees, employees, and agents (“Releasees”) from all of its claims, costs, damages, liabilities or expenses (“Claims”) in connection with or arising from the preparation and submission of a response to this RFP, the accuracy or omission of any information furnished in connection with this RFP, the actions of any Releasee in the conduct of this RFP process including evaluation of Vendor’s proposal, any economic benefit lost or damages incurred by a Vendor, or any other Vendor Claim connected with or arising in any way from the RFP process.  This Release and Hold Harmless Agreement does not apply to claims of third parties.


Question #11. Can you define "low-income"? Each target community seems to define it differently. Is there a specific measurement used? 

Response:  Some of the municipalities have defined geographic areas that they consider in need of special consideration due to the economic characteristics of the areas.  See Schedule 3.3 for Carrboro-Chapel Hill (Table 3.1), Schedule 5.4 (Raleigh), and Schedule 6.4 (Winston-Salem) for applicable maps.  We would also define any household where some or all of the residents are eligible for Medicaid, the children are eligible for free or reduced lunch in school, the household qualifies as “poor” under the HUD guidelines, or the household income is below the poverty level under the Census Bureau’s guidelines to be “low income.” Existing service providers may have their own definitions and this could be discussed during any negotiation phase.


Question #12.  Will the responses to the RFP be made public?

Response:  Yes, responses to the RFP will be made public at the conclusion of the process to the extent required by applicable law but will not be disclosed to the public if exempt from disclosure under, and submitted in accordance with, § 132-1.2 of the North Carolina Statutes as a “trade secret.”   See section 3.12.2 Public Records Obligations of Participating Municipalities and Public Universities; Submission of Trade Secret Materials.


Question #13. Is Schedule 1.4 missing from the RFP – can you please add that?

Response:  p. 12, under section: 1.5.2 Timely Inspection, there is a reference to section 1.4:

 “The REs will provide Vendor(s) with timely inspection of all work performed on the Network(s) as shown in Schedule 1.4.”

The statement should read:

The REs will provide Vendor(s) with timely inspection of all work performed on the Network(s) as decided upon during the negotiation phase.


Question #14.  Is the 100 mbps throughput requirement for the wireless networks per user or per access point or per user?

Response:  Each user device gets a minimum connection speed of 100 Mbps (assuming 802.11n) with coverage to reach all users in the coverage area.  More discussion will occur during the negotiation phase to finalize any solution.


Question #15. What specific commitments have been made by the NCDOT with respect to use of NCDOT rights-of-way, fiber and/or conduit?

Response:  The NC DOT is aware of the project and has expressed a willingness to help to the extent they are allowed by law.


Question #16.  Please specify the electronic data processing goods and services, telecommunications goods and services, security goods and services, microprocessors, software, information processing, office systems, any services related to the foregoing, and consulting or other services for design or redesign of information technology supporting business processes that are sought by the Requesting Entities pursuant to the RFP.

Response:  There is no specific list of additional services requested.   None are required.   This is a generic allowance for the responder to offer additional services that customers may wish to take advantage of and would make the response stronger.  As an example, the responder may wish to provide a computer backup service to subscribers, or network storage service, network installation services for buildings, etc.   Any additional services proposed will be evaluated as an additional benefit to the region.


Question #17. Are the rates set forth at Schedule 1.3 available to private entities today outside the requirements of the RFP or are the rates conditional on compliance with the terms of the RFP?

Response:  Each municipality maintains their own policies for establishing rates and will review them for more general use once the RFP process is complete.  Rates provided in section 1.3 represent the agreed upon rates for successful entities that respond to the RFP and are selected to provide services.


Question #18.  Proposal instructions state that responses should be organized in the same sequence as "part 2" of the RFP. I want to clarify that part 2 refers to the section labeled "2. Services Sought" and not referring to the second section of the RFP where each municipality has listed its goals and areas of focus. Thank you. 

Response:  Yes, that is correct.


Question #19:  Would proposals that utilize the sanitary and stormwater sewers as ready-made conduit to deploy fiber optic cable within be considered ? Would micro-trenching be considered? 

ResponseMicro trenching and directional drilling is acceptable with proper permitting.  The municipalities and universities would consider fiber installations within the stormwater and sanitary sewer network where there would be little to no impact to the maintenance and replacement of sewer pipes, and where easement conditions would allow it.  Proper permits would be required.

The following exceptions exist:

  • Carrboro would NOT allow fiber installation in stormwater sewers.
  • Raleigh, Durham and Cary would NOT allow fiber installation in stormwater or sanitary sewers.