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  • Broadband project could create open access fiber network from downtown through Portland's Back Cove

     

    The City of Portland has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking fiber optic connectivity to its new Canco Road facilities. The City maintains a fiber optic INET (institutional network), which provides connectivity to all City and School buildings, and consists of five 10 GB network switches.

    The new connectivity is necessary as the City is in the process of consolidating public works, fire, and recreation operations to new facilities in two buildings at 212 and 250 Canco Road. The City would like to explore the possibility of using this project to create phase one of an open access fiber network starting in downtown Portland and ending at Canco Road. An open access fiber network could offer high speed fiber optics to both residential and commercial properties along this route.

    “We’re very excited about the possibility that this project could bring with it an added bonus for a large portion of our residents and businesses,” said Jon Jennings, City Manager. “Giving our citizens along this line a path to affordable high speed connectivity will spur economic development. There are several possible options for implementing this, and we look forward to exploring the costs and benefits of each.”

    The project could involve running a minimum number of single mode fiber strands to the City’s closest INET building, this option would likely be the least expensive, but would only serve immediate needs (see option #1 below).  Additionally, the City would like to explore the possibility of using this project to create phase one of an open access fiber network starting in downtown Portland and ending at Canco Road (see option #2 below).  An open access fiber network could offer high speed fiber optics to both residential and commercial properties along the route.  In the case of the Rockport and South Portland open access fiber projects, potential customers along the fiber route were offered internet access speeds of 1 GB for an affordable monthly rate.

     

     

    All proposers should be aware that the award of this contract, as a result of this request, is based upon appropriation of funds granted and/or accepted by the Portland City Council.

    Sealed responses will be received by the Purchasing Office, City Hall, Room 103, until 3:00 PM,

    Thursday, December 10, 2015. Proposals from vendors not registered with the Purchasing Office may be rejected. There is a mandatory pre-proposal conference for all prospective bidders that will be held in Room 209 of City Hall on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 10:00 AM. Only those firms represented at this meeting may submit a proposal for this project.

    "In my State of the City address earlier this year, I announced that we needed to increase broadband in the city, and this is a concrete step in the right direction," said Mayor Michael Brennan. "I've been working with the Mayor's Coalition to support legislative initiatives to increase broadband, including testifying last month before the legislative group, ConnectME, to support more broadband access in Maine."