Portland, Maine, Releases RFP for Fiber Project

  • ConnectME
PORTLAND, ME — 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.”

"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."

Open Access Network
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 Gbps for an affordable monthly rate.

  • Option 1: Run a limited number of single mode fiber strands from the Canco Rd location to either Ocean Ave Elementary School or Ocean Ave Fire Station. Both locations are connected to our INET and the distance from Canco Rd to either location is approximately 1 mile and indicated in attachment 1.

  • Option 2: Develop phase one of an open access fiber network connecting the downtown to Canco Rd. One possible route is shown in attachment 2 includes a mainline/lateral type of route. Included in this routing method are approximately 838 residential properties and more than 350 commercial properties. This would also involve a large fiber bundle to accommodate our needs at Canco Rd and to support open access. One possible network route is indicated in attachment 2 and highlighted in red (see attached.)


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.

More information on this RFP is available here.

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