The community of Falmouth, Massachusetts, continues to march forward with their plans to find a way to bring better connectivity to the coastal town. Falmouth Economic Development & Industrial Corporation (EDIC) recently issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a feasibility study for a community network. Proposals are due August 12, 2019.
The RFP follows a June 4th meeting attended by about 80 people and a vote from the EDIC a week later to commit $50,000 toward the study. The meeting allowed people in the community to obtain information about the pros and cons of municipal networks and explore the possibilities for Falmouth.
Executive Director of the EDIC F. Michael DiGiano provided some important facts about the community and the vision for Falmouth:
Falmouth is a coastal community located on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, with a year population of 32,000 and a summer population of more than 105,000. The Town is home to several world-class scientific research organizations, including the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Marine Biological Laboratory, and research centers for NOAA and USGS.
Many businesses and residents experience service problems with the current broadband system especially in summer months when the population triples. The purpose of the feasibility study is determine the viability of a locally owned broadband network that would offer reliable service for the needs of both residential and commercial customers throughout the year.
Comcast offers cable Internet access and DSL is available from Verizon in many areas of town, but neither coverage is ubiquitous. OpenCape maintains a presence in Falmouth, offering services to institutions, including schools and libraries, and to larger businesses. In a few areas of town, OpenCape has started offering residential and small business connectivity in mixed-use buildings. Falmouth hopes the presence of OpenCape fiber in the city will help implement a more cost effective and efficient deployment.
Falmouth Needs Answers
The community is looking for a firm that will:
- Assess their needs, residential and business, and explore how a community network will impact those needs
- Assess Falmouth’s situation relative to similar communities and examine possible collaborations, advantages, disadvantages, and outcomes
- Examine possible reactions from incumbents and what to expect from them
- Recommend one or more network design and share information about various deployment strategies for Falmouth
- Provide preliminary cost estimates
- Recommend funding possibilities
- Recommend network operator from various options
Read the details from the full RFP here.
July 22, 2019 - Written inquiries due by 4:00 p.m.
July 29, 2019 – RFP inquiry responses posted to the EDIC website by 4:00 p.m.
August 12, 2019 – RFP response due by 4:00 p.m.
Interested parties should email Michael DiGiano, Executive Director, Falmouth EDIC at: mdigiano(at)falmouthedic.org to express their interest in submitting a proposal and to receive an email of the RFP, also posted at www.falmouthedic.org.
Image of the Nobsak Light House courtesy of Friends of Nobska Light.