• Request for Proposal for Wide Area Network Connections



    RFP No: 378 23A11 WAN


    RFP Posting Date:                    January 27, 2023

    Questions Due By:                    February 10, 2023 at 3:00 PM PST

    Site Visit Request Due By:         February 10, 2023 at 3:00 PM PST

    RFP Due By:                             February 24, 2023 at 1:00 PM PST


    In conformity with the Federal Communications Commission, Schools and Library Division (SLD), “Universal Service Fund” (a.k.a. “E-Rate funding) application process, Mill Valley School District, here after referred to as “Owner” is seeking proposals from qualified providers of Data Services.


    Any and all updated project information, forms, including addenda, will be distributed through the project website, located at www.infinitycomm.com/projects & https://portal.usac.org/suite/.  All these documents shall be made part of and material to the contract for services.


    **Vendors, subcontractors, and subcontractors who perform on-site activities

    are required to contact the awarding entity for current health and safety protocols.

    Including but not limited to COVID-19 vaccination requirements.**



    For the purposes of this Request for Proposal, the following definitions shall be used to define the types of Wide Area Network, their topologies, and their requirements.  Proposers should only use these definitions when creating their proposals for this project.  All other assumptions used by the Proposer are done so at their own risk.  If the Proposer includes a solution other than what is requested in this RFP, it may be grounds for dismissal of their proposal.


    • Point-to-Point Wide Area Network is the logical connection between no more than two sites.
    • Point-to-Multi-Point Wide Area Network is the logical connection between more than two sites, sharing the same point of connection.
    • Multi-Point-to-Multi-Point Wide Area Network is the logical connection between more than two sites, sharing multiple points of connection between multiple sites.
    • Direct Connection is the dedicated physical connection between two or more sites, with no other physical or logical breaks between the sites.
    • Switched Connection is the use of managed switches to connect two or more sites without a direct physical or logical connection between the sites.
    • HUB Site is the site where point-to-point connections are terminated in a one-to-one connection method where each site is directly connected to a physical port on the applicant’s equipment.
    • Collector Site is the site where point-to-multi-point or multi-point-to-multi-point connections are terminated in a one-to-many method where multiple sites share the same connection to the collector site.


    Scope of Work

    The Owner is seeking proposals for Wide Area Network connections and will accept proposals from Service Providers for Leased Lit fiber solutions.  The Respondent will include in their proposal all costs necessary to provide, construct, install, program, maintain, and monitor the services requested.  All maintenance costs associated with any on-site premise equipment, provided as an integral part of the Respondent’s proposed service, shall be their sole responsibility.  Per the requirement of the E-Rate Program, the services requested shall at no point now, or in the future, become the property of the Owner.  The successful Respondent will include in their bid price, at a minimum, the following:

    1. The requested service is a Point-to-Multi-Point service between the User Network Interface (UNI) at the Owner’s “Collector Site” to the UNI(s) located at each of the sites as listed on “Attachment A – Site Schedule”.
    2. The Connections shall be a minimum of 1GB, or higher, unless otherwise noted on the “Attachment A – Site Schedule”. 
    3. The Respondent will provide a separate price for all one-time special construction and/or build-out costs, including but not limited to: conduit/trenching, interior pathways, cabling, terminations, construction of network facilities, route assessments, ROW access and/or easement assessments, traffic control and permits, surveys, testing, design and engineering, and project management to provide the requested service connection to the Owner’s designated demarcation point and also a separate proposal to amortize the cost of the construction into the monthly contract cost.


    The cost of one-time construction and/or installation fees as necessary by the bidder to provide their proposed service.  For E-Rate purposes, special construction refers to the upfront, non-recurring costs associated with the installation of new fiber to or between eligible entities.  If no new fiber is being installed, then any installation costs are considered standard, non-recurring costs (NRC).  The Owner may seek funding for special construction charges relating to leased lit, leased dark and self-provisioned fiber.  Special construction charges eligible for Category One support consist of three components:

    1. Construction and network facilities
    2. Design and Engineering
    3. Project Management


    **Note** The term special construction does not include network equipment necessary to light fiber, nor the services necessary to maintain the fiber.  Charges for network equipment and fiber maintenance are eligible for Category One support as separate services but not as special construction.


    All options can include special construction or one-time E-Rate eligible non-recurring costs as well as E-Rate eligible recurring circuit costs.  All proposals for solutions requiring special construction must only include capacity and special construction necessary to deliver service to the Owner.  To the extent that the winning Respondent installs additional strands of fiber for future business ventures, the winning Respondent assumes full responsibility to ensure those costs are allocated out of the special construction charges to the Owner in accordance with FCC rules and orders.  If, after issuance of the Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL), USAC of the FCC determines that the winning respondent did not cost allocate those charges associated with the additional strands, the Owner will not be responsible for reimbursing the winning Respondent and the winning Respondent will assume all responsibilities deemed ineligible by USAC.


    Based on the proposal, and both short-term and long-term cost effectiveness analysis, the Owner will determine which of the solutions is acceptable.


    1. All RFP proposals will include any/all costs associated with switching service from the Owner’s existing service provider.  The Respondents submittal of a proposal is an acknowledgement of this requirement.
    2. Customer Premise Equipment (CPE), to provide the requested service.
      1. Demarcation hand-off will be an LC Multimode Fiber connection.  Respondent will provide and maintain all premise equipment necessary to provide the Owner with the specified hand-off type of service requested.
      2. All solutions must terminate service or infrastructure in the demarcation point at the site address and MDF location as specified in the RFP.  Solutions bringing service to the property line but not to the demarcation point are not acceptable.  Respondent must specify the specific demarcation setup included in the base fee.
    3. The requested service shall provide for both physical and logical separation of Owner’s traffic through the public switched network.  The Respondent shall, as determined by the scope of their proposed service, provide all necessary equipment, software, and/or professional services, including but not limited to Ethernet Virtual Connections (EVC), to accomplish this requirement.
    4. Full duplex operation (connection shall be bi-directional)
    5. The requested service shall allow the following Network Protocols:
      1. TCP/IP protocols
      2. 802.1d and 802.1q QoS on the entire circuit
      3. All Layer 1 and Layer 2 protocols, minimum Layer 3 (EIGRP, IGMP, IPSEC, OSPF & RIP)
      4. Multicasting (IGMP with PIM, SM or DM
    6. The Respondent shall supply an industry standard Service Level Agreement (SLA), to ensure the following Objectives are maintained:
      1. No other bidder’s customers shall have physical or logical access to the Owner’s traffic/VLAN.
      2. Network availability: 99.99%
      3. Packet Delivery Rate: 99.99%
      4. Network Latency: 30ms, one way
      5. Mean Time to Repair: 4 hours, end-to-end, including local loop.
      6. 24/7/365 monitoring of the circuits
      7. The Service Provider, at no time, shall limit or throttle the capacity of the circuit, for any reason.
    7. No proposal shall be accepted, or contract awarded to a Respondent:
      1. Who is not licensed in accordance with the law.
      2. Who does not hold a license qualifying them to perform work under this contract in the State of California.
      3. Who does not hold a valid Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) and is in good standing with the FCC/USAC.
      4. Who has not successfully performed on projects of similar character and scope to the proposed work.

    Site Conditions

    It is the responsibility of the Respondent to be informed of all conditions under which work is to be done before submitting proposals.  No additional costs will be incurred by the Owner or considerations given to any claims by the bidder based on a lack of knowledge of existing conditions.  The submission of a proposal is an acknowledgement and agreement to the stipulation.


    A site survey or site walk of the premises may be set up by contacting the Owner’s Representative Sarah Storey at p1bids@infinitycomm.com.  All requests for site surveys/walks must be received in writing no later than February 6, 2023 at 3:00pm PST.


    E-Rate Requirements

    The services requested in this RFP are dependent on funding from the E-Rate program.  The Owner expects that each prospective Respondent will make themselves thoroughly familiar with all applicable rules and regulations regarding the E-Rate program.  For further information regarding the E-Rate program, please reference the USAC Schools and Libraries website at: www.universalservice.org/sl/


    All contracts entered because of this RFP and the associated Form 470 will be contingent upon:

    1. Funding approval by the SLD.
    2. Approved funding amount equal to the funding amount as requested on the Form 471.
    3. The Respondent providing, at the time of bid, and maintaining a valid Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) consistent with the type of service requested in the RFP.
    4. A certified Form 486 filed by the Owner and/or written “Notice to Proceed” from the Owner to the winning Respondent to initiate service.  The Service Provider must contact the Owner prior to work proceeding.


    Per the requirements of the E-Rate program, no billing and/or service may begin for this contract prior to July 1, 2023 and may not extend past June 30, 2024.  Per E-Rate rules, applications will be submitted each year of multi-year contracts for funding consideration.


    The Respondent is required to provide the Lowest Corresponding Price (LCP) for equipment and/or services as has been provided to other customer in the area.  In the event of an audit and a rule violation pertaining to LCP, regarding a service provider not providing the LCP, any funds that are requested to be returned to compensate the difference or any rule violation will be the responsibility of the service provider that has failed to provide the LCP.


    The Owner has the right to choose the type of invoicing method to pay for the services rendered.  The Respondent acknowledges this right upon submission of a response to this request.


    Service Provider Invoicing

    The Owner’s discount percentage rate, as determined on the Form 471, will be the maximum that the Owner is liable for.  The Respondent will be responsible to invoice USAC for the remaining balance, when using the Service Provider Invoice (SPI) method, or Form 474.  Prior to invoicing USAC for the service rendered, the Respondent agrees to provide the Owner a copy of the USAC invoice to verify that the service has been delivered and accepted by the Owner before the Respondent invoices USAC.


    BEAR Invoice Method

    When utilizing the BEAR method of invoicing, the Respondent will invoice the Owner for the entire amount of the service rendered.  The Owner will invoice USAC for the discounted portion of the services provided.



    The Owner reserves the right to terminate any contract and/or agreement with any Respondent, even the apparent winner, regardless of USAC’s approval or denial of funding; any funding requested because of this RFP, prior to any work starting.  The Owner reserves the right to accept the pricing proposal solely dependent upon SLD approval.


    Program Review

    All E-Rate applications, including special construction, are subject to detailed questioning during Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review where the cost of proposed special construction will be reviewed based on the cost of historical fiber builds in the region.  Additionally, certain information on necessary special construction is needed to accurately fill out the Form 471.  Respondents are required to complete the table in ‘Appendix A’.  Additionally, Respondents are required to submit the additional information described in ‘Appendix A’, as this information will be required in a PIA review.  If Respondents do not submit the additional information as listed in ‘Appendix A’, the Respondents bid can be deemed non-responsive and excluded from the bid.


    Response Package Requirements

    No bid will be accepted from, or contract awarded to a Respondent:

    1. Who is not licensed in accordance with the law.
    2. Does not hold a license qualifying them to perform work under this contract in the State of California.
    3. Who does not hold a valid SPIN and is not in good standing with the FCC/USAC.
    4. Who has not successfully performed one project of similar character and scope of the proposed work.
    5. Does not provide all required documentation as required by this RFP.


    Email: ATTN: Sarah Storey at p1bids@infinitycomm.com


    Mailing Address:

    Sarah Storey

    Infinity Communications and Consulting, Inc.

    4909 Calloway Drive, Suite 102

    Bakersfield, CA 93312


    Proposals will only be received until February 24, 2023, at 1:00 PM PST.  Proposals received after this time will not be considered for award.  Respondents will provide the RFP number and bid time in the subject line of the email, or if responding by mail the RFP number and bid time on the lower left-hand corner of the response envelope.


    Due to the inconsistency and unreliability of physical delivery services, it is highly recommended that all responses be sent via email.  Email responses are limited to 15Mb in size and must be in PDF format.  Responses received after the appointed date and time will be subject the owners Right to Reject any and all proposals.


    Any inquiries regarding this RFP will be directed to Sarah Storey at p1bids@infinitycomm.com.  The deadline for all questions will be on February 10, 2023 at 3:00 PM PST.


    To receive consideration by the Owner, each Respondent will provide, at a minimum, the following in their RFP response:

    1. Proposal Narrative – The Respondent will include with the proposal a written narrative, detailing the means, methods, and transport mediums of the proposed service offering.  The Proposal Narrative shall not exceed ten (10) pages (page limit excludes RFP forms and/or copies of the Respondents contracts and service level agreements). The proposal narrative shall include at a minimum:
      1. A brief description of the Respondent, their history in the marketplace and with the E-Rate program.
      2. A single line drawing depicting the proposed service.
      3. An implementation plan, including a project schedule, for the successful delivery of the proposed service offering to the Owner including installation dates for each circuit and the date each circuit will be turned over to the applicant.  For the purposes of this RFP, a contract will be signed prior to filing the Form 471, and construction will begin immediately after the Form 471 is filed.  The first circuits will be turned over to the Owner on July 1, 2023.
      4. A description of the Respondents billing process, including those related to the E-Rate program.
      5. A description, if applicable, of the “Owner Supplied” equipment and/or facilities required by the bidder for the successful implementation of their proposed service offering, i.e. power, environmental controls, facilities upgrades, and/or equipment mounting space requirements.
      6. A statement, if applicable, that clearly addresses any conflict or inability on the part of the Respondent to meet the specified service and/or terms and conditions specified in this document.
    2. Price Evaluation Form – The Respondent shall provide their price on the provided “Price Evaluation Form.”  If the Respondent proposes alternate pricing and/or product options, they may do so only in addition to supplying a “price Evaluation Form” for the requested service.  Any/all “alternate” pricing and/or product options will be provided on the “Alternate Pricing Evaluation Form” provided.  Each additional service offering in the Respondent provides, must be placed on a separate “Price Evaluation Form.”
    3. Detailed Cost Breakdown – The Respondent will itemize the proposal price as shown on the provided “Detailed Cost Breakdown” sheet.  Pricing shown will conform to the pricing shown on the “Price Evaluation Form”.  Per the RFP, the cost of Special Construction and Network Electronics shall be broken out separately in the Respondents proposal response.  Each additional service offering in the Respondent provides, must be placed on a separate “Detailed Cost Breakdown Sheet.”
    4. Qualifications Form – The Respondent shall complete and submit the attached “Qualifications Form” as part of their proposal.  The Respondent shall also include a minimum of three (3) reference that demonstrate their ability to provide the services requested in this RFP.  References will include Contact Name, Organization Name, telephone, and email information for the contact.  References must be from projects within the last three (3) calendar years.
    5. Service Agreement – The Respondent will include a signed and dated copy of their multi-year Service Agreement (contract and service level agreement) with their proposal.  Once all proposals have been received and evaluated, the Owner will sign, date, and return the winning Respondents agreement(s).  See “Contract Requirements” section below for a detailed description of the required Service Agreement.
    6. General Acknowledgement – Respondents will provide an executed copy of the provided acknowledgement form, acknowledging the RFP requirements.


    If the incumbent does not respond to this RFP with a quote, the Owner will use the incumbent vendors current pricing.


    The Owner will accept a CalNet contract and CalNet terms and conditions if offered.



    Contract Requirements

    The Owner intends to use the Respondents supplied Service Agreement to formalize any contractual relationship that results from this RFP.  However, the following provisions MUST be specifically included in the Respondent supplied agreement for the Respondents proposal to be considered responsive.  Failure to include any or all these provisions shall result in a Non-Responsive determination and no further evaluation of the Respondents proposal will be considered.

    1. Terms and Conditions – The Owner requests proposals that are based on a three (3) year contract term with two (2) optional one (1) year extensions.  The initial three (3) year contract term shall start on July 1, 2023 and end on June 30, 2026, not to exceed five (5) contract years.  An extension option must be mutually acceptable to both parties.  Any request for and acceptance of an extension shall be in written form and shall include any requests and justifications for adjustment in compensation.  If Respondents can provide “better” rates by extending the length of the contract, provide this option as part of the RFP response.
    2. Growth Clause – Growth services may or may not be requested by the Owner during the contract term.  The Respondent shall include a “Growth Clause” with the maximum charges per month.  The “Growth Clause” shall not require a change in contract terms.  The “Growth Clause” shall include a price for all existing service types plus any additional services of the same type/speed and bandwidths of 2GB, 5GB, and 10GB.  Bidder shall include growth bandwidth and growth pricing in the contract for any potential upgrades.


    Bid Evaluation

    The Owner will evaluate and select the winning proposal based on the following criteria.

    1. Price (30%) – The price of eligible goods and services will be the highest weighted factor.  The Owner will evaluate price based ONLY on the eligible monthly and eligible “one-time” costs.  E-Rate ineligible items must be provided on a separate rate sheet that will not be a part of this evaluation.
    2. Experience (25%) – The Owner will evaluate prospective Respondent’s experience based on, but not limited to, the Respondents ability to successfully provide the requested service(s), and prior history with the Owner.  This may generate positive or negative as a result.  A neutral finding will provide all Respondents the same score.
    3. Accuracy of Response (20%) – The Owner will evaluate the prospective Respondents proposal response for, but not limited to, completeness of proposal package, Service Agreement, amendments and/or exceptions to the requested service(s).
    4. Qualifications (15%) – The Owner will evaluate the prospective Respondents qualifications based on, but not limited to, technical expertise and service coverage and the number of projects successfully completed by the Respondent providing the same type and scope of the requested services.  This score will be affected by the Respondents ability to provide CTF discounts.
    5. Service Level Agreement (5%) – The Respondent will include a signed and dated copy of their multi-year Service Agreement (contract and service level agreement) with the proposal.  Upon review and evaluation of all proposals, the Owner will sign, date, and return the successful Respondents agreement(s).  The Service Agreement shall include reference to the RFP number in which you provide a bid response to.
    6. Other Cost Factors (5%) – The owner will take into consideration of all non-E-Rate costs, including but not limited to ineligible one time or recurring charges, equipment, etc.



    To be considered, written protests containing the proposal number must be submitted in accordance with the Owner’s Board of Education Policy for protests.  Protests must be made on the following grounds to be considered:

    1. Owner failed to follow the selection procedures and adhere to the requirements specified in this RFP or any amendments hereto, or
    2. A Conflict of Interest
    3. State and/or Federal law has been violated.


    All protests will be responded to in accordance with the Owners Board of Education Policy.


    Bidder Selection/Contract Award

    The Owner reserves the right to make the award to the bidder who submits the proposal which meets the requirements set forth herein and best meets the needs of the Owner, after taking into consideration all the aforementioned factors.  The Owner also reserves the right to select portions of a proposal, or to reject all proposals.  If the Respondent fails to provide the contract service, the Respondent agree to financial compensation to the Owner to move to the next qualified Respondent.


    Right to Reject Any and All Proposals

    The Owner reserves the right to accept or reject any or all responses in whole or in part. Or waive any minor irregularity in any proposal received.  The Owner shall be the sole judge of the competency and responsibility of the Respondent.  The submission of a proposal by a Respondent is acknowledgment of this right.