Garrett County, MD RFP for broadband network

Garrett County, Maryland has issued a public tender for a broadband network. The deadline for responses is 13 January 2015 at 14:00 (local time). Below is a summary of the RFP which you can download from the Garrett County website (you have to register to download the document). I posted the RFP on Scribd so you can view it online or download it without registering.

Summary

Garrett County, Maryland seeks a qualified private partner (Partner) to construct, deploy, operate, and maintain a network to provide Broadband Internet Service to underserved residents and businesses in key target areas (Target Areas) of the County with the potential to serve as many as possible of the nearly 3,000 unserved and underserved homes and businesses.

Garrett County is a rural community in Western Maryland with many towns but no major cities. The County has a vibrant year-round tourism economy, a strong agricultural sector, and a growing business community. County officials have prioritized pursing access to affordable broadband networks on behalf of underserved and unserved residents who do not have access.

The funding provided by the County to the selected Partner will be designated for capital expenditures. The County will own any facilities constructed and equipment procured with the public funding and will give the Partner a long-term lease for exclusive use of the publicly-funded assets.

The County pooled local funds with grant funds provided by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), and intends to make available to the selected Partner at least $800,000 for the first two phases of the project. Additional funding of up to $500,000 may be available for a third phase of the project, but will depend on ARC and County approval and is not guaranteed.

The Partner will have the opportunity to secure fiber-based backhaul services through the Maryland Broadband Cooperative (MdBC). MdBC operates two points of presence (POP) in the County. Other commercial providers such as Shentel Cable also have facilities in the County that could provide backhaul services.