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RFP 35 Posted


** All proposals are due via email by 11:59:59 PM on 03/04/21 (the day prior to ACSD)

Go to:

Enter Fund Year 2021

Enter HCP Number 17268

Click on Details

Look under Request for Proposal for link to download the attached RFP

Look under Section 9 for circuit requests

Please note the Allowable Contract Sign Date (ACSD) is 03/05/21.  No agreements should be signed prior to that date!


  • Proposals must be emailed to
  • Bids must be received via email by 11:59:59 PM on 03/04/21 (the day prior to ACSD)

Pricing Format:

Bidders must use our standard pricing format for broadband pricing (Section 9.2 equipment pricing may still be proposed in the bidder’s own format):

Pricing-Format. (download)

Follow the instructions at the top of the spreadsheet.

Include the finished spreadsheet as a separate file within the electronic bid proposal copy.

Questions about the RFP can be emailed to us here. Any incoming questions and corresponding answers will be posted on this page.

Reminder: Important 2021 Changes to RFP:

    • Proposals must be emailed to
    • Responses due by 11:59:59 PM on day preceding USAC Allowable Contract Sign Date.

Questions and Answers:

All questions must be submitted by email. Please thoroughly read the RFP before asking questions; your answer may be found within the RFP.

1. When submitting the Pricing Proposal for the Equipment, do we follow the Proposal Format outlined in 3.3? Many of the bullet points do not seem applicable if we are only proposing hardware for one entity on the bid.

A: You need to follow the bullet points which are applicable, in the order shown in the RFP. If you are only responding to equipment, some of these bullet points will not be applicable and therefore you don’t need to follow them (for example, the Description of Proposed Broadband Solution and/or Public Internet Service).

2. How is the RFP actually scored? Who makes the final decision on awarding contracts?

A: The RFP scoring process is a multi-step procedure. First, R-AHEC reviews each bid in its entirety and scores each vendor based on the Scoring Criteria found at the end of the RFP. R-AHEC then creates a proposal summary for each individual organization from the RFP, and sends that summary along with the responses and internal scoring sheet to each respective organization. Each organization then has a chance to score the bidders on their own. R-AHEC then meets with each organization to discuss the bids and select winners based on the organization’s review and feedback. It is ultimately the organization’s decision which bidder is selected.

3. As a bidder can we respond only to portions of the RFP, or must we respond to all requests?

A: You can choose to respond only to certain portions of the RFP if you wish. However, you must follow all the guidelines of the RFP, so it is important to thoroughly read the entire RFP to ensure you are complying with all provisions.

4. Assumption of scope:

(4) Branch location which will be connected through VPN back to HQ, the switches are for Access layer L2 connectivity for endpoints (Data, PoE, etc..).  It will be the same configuration for each location besides IP differences.  The Router is only terminating an Internet connection that is under 500Mbps connect (Default throughput size of the 4431 Router).  The Catalyst 9000 series switches will be stacked together on top of each other and a single Ethernet cable will connect the stack to (1) Cisco ISR4431 router.

General Questions:

  • Are we replacing existing devices or new locations, do we require a Cut-Over time off standard business hours.  If these are new locations I don’t believe any OT labor hours would be required.  We would be replacing older equipment (1921 router and 2960 switches at each of the sites)
  • Do you want the Engineer to physically install the routers and switches or will the end-user complete the physical installation of the hardware? In the past we have physically racked and stacked them, we need assistance with the configuration piece.
  • Are you looking for Day-2 Support, we normally add labor for “Engineer will be available for the first four hours of Standard business hours” Do you want this included or no Day-2 Support or a different amount of hours?  I would say we do not need day two support at this time

Questions for the routers:

  • What circuit types are terminating at each location?  Voice (PRI/Copper/SIP) and/or Data (Ethernet handoff) and how many ports are required
  • The 4431 has (2) Integrated GE/SFP ports, are any more required.
    • WAN and LAN connections MPLS connection,  we have two copper handoffs one for internet and one for MPLS traffic
  • Does the router need to create any VPN tunnels, if so how many are required?  What is the device on the other end? No VPN tunnels needed we have Palo Alto’s currently and they are doing the tunnel setup.
  • Do you want Cisco SMARTnet support attached to the hardware, if yes type and length?  (Example 1yr 8x5xNBD support) 1 year 8x5xNBD is fine

Questions for Switches:

  • What they doing Layer 2 and/or Layer 3, if L3 please provide some detail about Layer 3 configuration.  Pretty vanilla have a couple VLANs at Warsaw, Albion and Lyndonville,  have about 10 VLANs in Brockport (our main facility)
  • If they are only L2 for the Access layer for endpoint connectivity can we quote the Catalyst 9200L? (Will save you money vs. C9300 switches) We would like the 9300 for consistency across our other offices, and for future growth.
  • Do you want the secondary power supply added to each switch? Second power supply would be good
  • Are you planning on stacking the switches together, if yes will they be stack on top of each other? Yes plan to stack they will be on top of each other, or very close proximity in the same rack.
  • What type of uplinks do you want on the switches 1G or 1/10G SFP ports?
    • Do you need any optic for the uplink ports?   I think 1G is enough at this point
  • How are the switch linking back into the network with how many runs? Currently there has been 1 link back to the core
  • Do you need Ethernet cables supplied, if yes Qty and length required? We should be all set with cables
  • Do you want Cisco SMARTnet support attached to the hardware, if yes type and length?  (Example 1yr 8x5xNBD support) 1 year 8x5xNBD is fine

5.  Can you confirm that the customer would like 3 year Cisco Support for the gear specified please?

A: One year for Cisco maintenance contract.  

6.  If a scoping call is needed to better understand the configuration specifics, who is the customer contact that we would be coordinating with thru R-AHEC?

A: Please contact R-AHEC to obtain the contact information for the customer contact.


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