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Town of Highlands Smart Cities Project
Broadband Initiative Request for Proposals

PROPOSAL DUE DATE: 3:00 pm Friday, Sept. 4th, 2020


Head End/Colocation Building Photos

View the embedded image gallery online at:
https://highlandsnc.org/broadband#sigProIdaf62d41b93


Questions and Answers

Q: What is the revenue of Altitude?

A: $21,000 -$22,000 per month.

Q: Do you have any info., you can share related to what rights the City has previously awarded to other potential Cable/Broadband providers such as Highlands Cable Group, Northland Cable and any other Telecom/BB Providers that could compete with the awarded provider that will offers services across the City owned FTTH system currently being installed.

A: The Town of Highlands only has pole attachment agreements with other Telecom/BB providers simply allowing each to attach to Town-owned power poles.

Q: Once the OSP construction is complete, who has the responsibility for selecting the method and vendor to light and provision the FTTH (PON, ActiveE, etc.) system?  

A: The winning bidder will decide. The town is simply leasing the dark fiber. The town currently uses Calix GPON, but there are no restrictions on delivery method or vendor.

Q: Since the City owns the OSP who will take the responsibility for the OSP / headend system and associated maintenance / restoration support?

A: The winning bidder will take over maintenance and restoration. 

Q: What is the make ready and pole attach cost/fees for city poles and non-city poles?

A: The Pole attachment fee is $10 per year per attachment on any attachment owned by the provider. There should not be any make- ready fees, but if the provider were to need make-ready, that cost would be determined by the scope of work on each pole.

Q: Will there be any other Highland’s attachment or rights-of-way fees? 

A: No

Q:What is a fiber / foot install price estimate to finish the remaining 13% of the underground network and is it possible to install this fiber (underground dielectric fiber cable around or near the electrical underground distribution system)? 

A: That cost will be determined by the bidder. This could vary depending on what type of installation each bidder chooses. Each bidder may have different installation requirements

Q: According to the RFP, whoever is awarded this will need to build additional OSP beyond the city limits, is there a time requirement to compete these builds? 

A: There is no requirement to build outside the city limits, although the town does encourage building outside the city limits.

Q: What type of citywide WiFi solutions should be designed, is it only for the downtown/public venues or for an entire town wide coverage plan? 

A: This is a competitive portion of the bid. There is no requirement to do any Wifi.

Q: With a 100% Town wide Fiber Network, is there still a need for the Altitude Fixed Wireless deployment and could the fixed wireless be redeployed in none fiber served areas?  Will all of Altitude’s accounts, fixed wireless and FTTH element transfer to the operator “debt free”? 

A: Some of Altitude Fixed Wireless antennae could be re-aimed or relocated, while others already serve customers outside the city limits. Altitude assets will be transferred debt free.

Q: What does it mean “lease” and what are the lease requirements, does the Town have a expected $/month/sub payment? 

A: The lease payment is a competitive component of the RFP. The lease will be for 25 years to “Lease” the dark fiber the town is currently constructing.

Q: Will the Town remain 100% ownership of the 87% dark fiber system, since the RFP says the provider will lease the Town’s dark fiber? 

A: Yes

Q: Will the Town owned fiber distribution, transport, and backhaul system that covers the 87% identified in this RFP, be owned, serviced, and maintain in perpetuity by the Town?  If true, what are the SLA commitments by the Town to the operator? 

A: The provider will maintain the fiber network.

Q: What smart city technologies are required by the Town and does anything exist at this time within the Town such as smart meters for electric/water/trash, community safety solutions, animal/wild animal safety and control Town wide security cameras for police/fire and such as telemedical solutions, any educational and distance learning solutions for schools, etc.? 

A: The smart city portion of the RFP is competitive. The town currently has radio read meters, however, these meters are only read once per month. We would like to have real-time reading.

Q: As read the provider must offer a 1Gig package, are “lower or higher” packages restricted to be offer? 

A: There may be many different packages, both lower and higher as long as a 1 Gbps package is offered.

Q:Is the Town transferring full ownership of all Altitude asset, accounts, and revenues and “no” debt? 

A: Yes, all assets of Altitude will be transferred.

Q: Has the Town interviewed and/or recommended a selected fiber transport vendor or solution that the Town wishes that the provider user to deploy and light the dark fiber plant:  such as Calix, ADTRAN, or Nokia, if not its assumed the selected operator make that decision? 

A: The provider will make that decision. Currently Altitude has a small amount of Calix equipment.

Q: Will the selected provider be the “exclusive” provider in the Town of Highlands to operate and deploy services across the Towns dark fiber? 

A: The town is leasing all of its fiber network to the provider, with the exception of a limited amount of fiber the town has reserved for its own uses.

Q: If the provider build and support the FTTh outside the Town of Highlands is the Town going to add additional lease fee that need to be paid to the Town? 

A: No, anything the provider builds, the provider will own.

Q:Is the Town wanting the provider to show committed level of response? 

A: Yes, if there is a fiber break, how long will it be until staff is onsite to repair.

Q: The Town will review and compare thru the bid process the full SLA/Non-SLA proposed offer? 

A: Yes, the town will review all items of the RFP, including SLA’s.

Q: What is the cost of bandwidth/month that the Town has obligated and will the provider have obligations to that cost, or can the provider bring in another or additional bandwidth provider? 

A: The provider may purchase bandwidth from the Town’s upstream (ERC) provider if they choose, but are not obligated to do so. The provider may also bring in another bandwidth provider.

Q:Are there any ongoing pole attachment fees / costs that are obligated by the Town and will transfer to the Provider? 

A: No.

Q:Will the Provider share or own the Towns sources/cost of Bandwidth and what is the full cost of that bandwidth for the Town wide FTTH deployment and will there be Town only broadband services needed to be offered by the provider for the Town? 

A: The provider will not share the Town’s bandwidth nor any cost of bandwidth, but will supply or acquire their own bandwidth.

Q:Will the Town purchase bandwidth from the Provider? 

A: This is a possibility.

Q:Are the Altitude employees contractors with the Town or employees of the Town?   Are there employee experience documents/certifications, resumes for these employees and what is the Providers obligation to bring on and maintain those employee resources? 

A: The Provider must offer employment to these staff members. Their information is available upon request.

Q:1. Are the financials for the wireless and existing fiber operations available?
       

A: We can provide this upon request.

Q:What systems are used for Billing, Provisioning, and Network Monitoring? 

A: Azotel for all the above.

Q:How many passings are there? 

A:   In town- 2083 residential structures

                   466 commercial structures

                     36 government/non-profit structures

       Out of town - 193 residential structures.

Q:What is the current pricing structure? 

A: 4/4 Mbps – $34.99
10/10 Mbps - $39.99
25/25 Mbps – $59.99
50/50 Mbps - $119.98

Q:Network capital for fiber network – other than the 13% of the city that needs to be built out, are their other upgrades/replacements/capital outlays that are needed for the fiber network? 

A: The Town is providing only dark fiber, so any hardware, etc. to light the service, will need to be completed by the provider.

Q:Does the fiber network overlap the wireless customer base or are the networks in separate areas? 

A: The fiber network does overlap potions of the wireless network. The city limits are not entirely covered by wireless. Wireless Coverage Map is available upon request.