The Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband non-profit (UC2B) owns a community network in the southern Illinois sister cities of Urbana and Champaign. In 2009, these cities partnered with the University of Illinois to create the non-profit UC2B to build a Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network using a federal stimulus grant. In 2014, UC2B partnered with iTV3 to operate the network, but CountryWide Broadband bought iTV3 in early 2016. Now UC2B is looking for a new partner.
On August 22, 2016, UC2B issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to find a partner to operate and expand the existing UC2B fiber network. Submit letters of Intent to Respond to the RFP by Monday, August 29, 2016 to RFP@UC2B.net. The goal is Gigabit-connectivity in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.
Pass/Fail Requirements and Some Additional Key Criteria
Interested partners must honor the Three Core Principles of UC2B’s network:
1. An all fiber network; and
2. An open access network; and
3. Ubiquitous access, with no cherry picking.
Respondents will specifically be judged by 10 Pass/Fail Requirements and 9 Additional Key Criteria. These include:
An Initial $8.5 million Investment (p. 7 - 8 of the RFP)
$8.2 million will go to CountryWide Broadband (to buy out their interest in UC2B infrastructure, electronics, and customers), and the remaining $300,000 will be split equally among the City of Champaign, the City of Urbana, and UC2B to cover administrative costs.
A Community Storefront (p. 10)
The new partner must open a storefront for at least forty hours a week. The store must also have friendly and knowledgeable customer service representatives.
(Note: the schedule is subject to change)
- August 22, 2016 -- RFP released
- August 29, 2016 -- Deadline to submit letter of Intent to Respond to RFP
(send to: RFP@UC2B.net)
- August 31, 2016 -- Deadline to submit questions to UC2B
- September 6, 2016 -- Responses to questions due from UC2B
- September 19, 2016 -- Deadline RFP responses due to UC2B
The full RFP and its appendices are available on the UC2B website.