Gigabit City Committee Drafting RFP

The Mayor’s Gigabit City Executive Steering Committee is drafting a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Lexington’s fiber optic network.  For additional background on this issue, see my previous blog posts here and here.  The Committee previously released a Request for Information (RFI) on its gigabit city initiative.  An RFI differs from an RFP in that an RFI allows a public agency to learn about possible options without the obligation and expectation to award a contract within a specific timeframe.  In other words, by releasing an RFI, the Committee has taken the opportunity to learn about the variables and technical challenges before initiating the awarding processing required by an RFP

On January 19th, 2015, Chief Information Officer Aldona Valicenti provided the Environmental Quality & Public Works Committee with an update on the project.  You may view a video of the presentation and the packet with presentation slides by clicking here.  Fiber Optic Technology is item 4 on the agenda.  As Aldona noted in her presentation, a fiber optic buildout is a complex project.  The city’s strategic decisions in deploying the fiber optic network will have consequences for decades, so while some enthusiasts of the project have been eager for progress, a deliberate approach is appropriate for the best outcomes.

The Gigabit City Executive Steering Committee will be drafting and releasing an RFP in the coming weeks.  The Committee plans to suggest 2 options in the RFP.  The first option will be a private build in which the city has a level of participation.  The second option will be a public-private partnership model.  The city’s interest in both models relates to a ubiquitous, or equitable, build.  One outcome of a fiber optic network build is that only wealthy residents have access to high speed information delivery.  The city would prefer that this fiber optic infrastructure be available more equitably, and the public investment advances that interest.




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5 Responses to Gigabit City Committee Drafting RFP

  1. Jim Smith says:

    When will the RFP be issued? The stated “within a month” time period has passed.

    • Nathan Dickerson says:

      Hi Jim, thanks for your interest and for reaching out. The short answer is that the RFP will take a little while longer so that some recent bids and awards can be appropriately considered. For example, if you follow gigabit city news, you might have read that Huntsville announced a partnership on Feb 22, 2016.

      Our broadband RFP will explore new partnership options for building Lexington’s fiber to the home network. A cross-department team is working closely with CTC, a nationally-recognized broadband consulting firm. They are helping us understand the latest trends and take advantage of the best practices in our RFP. CTC is also reviewing the recent bids and awards that have been made in other cities to identify any important requirements that could be advantageous to us. This effort will take some additional time but will result in better options for Lexington.

      • Jim Smith says:

        Any update or estimate on when the RFP will be completed and released? I hope the Mayor and city staff aren’t going to give up or use the recent TW Cable and Windstream announcements as an excuse to claim “mission accomplished” and move on to other issues?

        • Steve Kay says:

          Jim: My understanding is that the city is continuing to move forward with this initiative, though I do not have any further information at this time about when the RFP will be issued..

          • Jim Smith says:

            Thank you Steve.

            Any idea why the RFP has still not been released when it’s been more than 3 months since it was announced, and it was scheduled to be released within 4 weeks? It seems like something has gone off the rails here ….

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