Q&A: Technical Assistance for Broadband Planning and Adoption RFP

We have now closed the submission for the Broadband Illinois RFP Application. We have received multiple bids, and would like to thank everyone for their interest. The review committee has started the bid acceptance process and will be in contact with all of those who have submitted bids soon.

 


Q: Can you identify the public website where questions and answers will be posted in regards to your RFP for Technical Assistance for Broadband Planning and Adoption.

A: You are on the site now. The URL is: http://broadbandillinois.org/Use-it/Opportunities/Q-A-Technical-Assistance-for-Broadband-Planning-and-Adoption-RFP.html

Q: Can you confirm that there are in fact five components in the Work Statement (Section III), or explain why the reference is to only four components.

A: The reference to five components in the Work Statement (Section III) is in error. There are only four components.

Q: Is this RFP subject to Davis Bacon Act requirements and what additional reporting requirements are there for data on hours and wages for the State of Illinois to comply with grant requirements?

A: How each applicant chooses to fulfill the requirements of the RFP may be different. We suggest that each applicant familiarize themselves with the requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and to secure legal advice on the this federal legislation as they feel necessary.

Q: What is the deadline for submission of the RFP application materials?

A: The deadline for the submission of proposals, pursuant to PCI's RQUEST FOR PROPOSAL: Technical Assistance for Broadband Planning and Adoption, has been extended to Friday, August 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm.

Q.  What deliverables and what time frames are you requesting for the following elements:

    1. the statewide demand study
    2. the collaboration on the development of the Illinois Broadband Plan
    3. the assistance to be provided to e-Teams and BTOP and BIP network awardees in Illinois
    4. the market research and technical assistance to be provided to small businesses in their use of broadband and the Internet
    5. the assistance to be provided in awareness raising with respect to the values of the use of broadband by CAIs, businesses and households.

A. The deliverables for each of the elements are identified in the RFP, and the supplementary materials that accompany it. The timeframe for each of the elements have not been identified.

Q.  How and where are respondent's answers to these questions to be presented in the layout of the response to the RFP?

A. The answer to this question is addressed in the RFP.

Q.  Is this a four-year contact? Or a lesser term? Or are there various time frames associated with the work to be completed in #a - #e above?

A. The time frame for the potential contract has not yet been determined.

Q.  Is there a maximum amount to be awarded for this contract?

A. The amounts of any contract resulting from the RFP will be determined in negotiations between the successful candidate or candidates and PCI.

Q.  Are any preferences to be given to Illinois respondents?

A. Respondents from Illinois are encouraged to participate, however proposals will be evaluated based on merit.

Q.  What are the criteria to be used in evaluating the responses?

A. The criteria to be used in evaluating bidders of the RFP is responsiveness to the RFP and the supplementary materials presented on the PCI web site, at http://broadbandillinois.org/Use-it/Opportunities.html, http://broadbandillinois.org/Use-it/Opportunities/Q-A-Technical-Assistance-for-Broadband-Planning-and-Adoption-RFP.html, and http://broadbandillinois.org/uploads/cms/documents/august_12_addendum_of_pci_rfp.pdf.

Q.  What are the point totals to be awarded to the quality of the responses provided by respondents?

A. The quality of the responses will be the key criteria by which RFP responses are evaluated.

Q.  Will there be a "qualified bidders" pool selected for oral presentations - the questions and answer session with the evaluation panel?

A. The answer to this question has not been determined.

Q.  Who will be on the evaluation panel? Will it include PCI staff, board members and outsiders like John Horrigan and/or Graham Richard?

A. There will be an evaluation panel for the RFP.

Q.  Is there a "contracting officer"?

A. The contracting officer will be Drew Clark, Executive Director, Partnership for a Connected Illinois.

Q.  Is there a mechanism in the RFP for challenges?

A. The RFP does not provide a mechanism for challenges. The Partnership for a Connected Illinois is a not-for-profit entity exempt from taxation under IRS code 501(c)(3), and is not subject to the FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulation) or the Illinois Procurement Code.

Q.  Are there starting and ending dates for the work to be done in this RFP?

A. The starting date for the work to be done in the RFP will be as soon as possible after the finalization of any contract. The ending date for the work has not yet been determined.

Q.  What mechanisms are contemplated for the collaborative work to be done by the respondent with the e-Teams and BTOP and BIP awardees?

A. PCI staff will work closely with any contractor to ensure that the work performed under contract will be of most value to the regional research projects currently being funded by PCI, to awardees under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and to the eTeams of PCI.

Q.  Are there "negotiations" contemplated between PCI and the RFP finalists after the submission of responses and the oral presentations?

A. PCI reserves the right to enter into negotiations with the RFP finalist or finalists.

Q. May bidders respond to a single or limited number of the requests of the RFP?

A. PCI reserves the right to award the contract as a single contract or as multiple contracts depending on whichever best fulfills the goals of the RFP. Bidders may focus on specific areas, depending on their capability or specialty. Those who wish to do so, however, are encouraged to submit their proposal in conjunction with others so that a comprehensive proposal is presented.

Q. PCI is producing information on the availability of broadband throughout Illinois. How will the data collected from this project be used to determine market penetration within a geographical area and how will it assess current use of existing connectivity?

A. PCI has been collecting broadband supply data within the state of Illinois for some time. Data collected through any contract(s) resulting from this RFP will help supplement and expand upon the supply information already collected.

Q. How will contractors work with other organizations that are doing research funded by PCI in order to assure that the data collected will compliment the activity of other research projects?

A. It will be a requirement of any contract(s) resulting from the RFP that contractors work with entities funded by PCI to collect broadband data.

Q. The RFP for Technical Assistance for Broadband Planning and Adoption, Section IV, "Cost Proposal," does not include information about budgeting for administrative overhead, technical assistance, etc. Do we need to insert those as line-items in our proposed budget, and can PCI provide us with a letter stating that overhead is not automatically included in the grant award? 

A. It is the policy of the Partnership for a Connected Illinois (PCI) not to fund indirect costs or overhead costs for research projects. 

Q. Who will be making the decision on the RFP?

A. The PCI review panel will consist of a combination of internal staff members and external research consultants.  The panel has an extensive background in broadband research, outreach, and GIS mapping.

Q.  Is there defined criteria and associated weightings for the evaluation process?

A. Please refer to the RFP Addendum for information regarding priorities. 

Q. Where can we get Exhibit A, the "Reference Form"?  Can we solicit reference letters ourselves?

A. There is no standard form for Reference A. Please submit reference letters from past clients or customers who have used the services you are proposing to supply in the RFP.