US Ignite issues a new Request for Proposals today for networking services at Fort Carson in Colorado. US Ignite is seeking a wireless network engineering business to build and manage a wireless communications network for the Fort Carson Transportation Testbed project. The network will be used to collect sensor and autonomous vehicle data created by the smart base technology pilot on site.

The major RFP goals include:

  • Purchase and build of a private wireless network to support autonomous vehicle testbed goals
  • Addition of infrastructure necessary to support the network (e.g. poles, other mount points)
  • Installation of up to nine wireless IP based traffic cameras to support data collection along the AV route

Documents for this RFP:

Proposals are due on July 2nd, 2020. Questions can be submitted as directed in the RFP, and user questions will be addressed and posted online by June 26th, 2020 to provide further clarity.

Answers to Submitted Questions

Update 6/24/2020

Q1: Per this RFP, is it possible to still conduct a site survey. If so, when would we be able to do the on-site survey?

A1: Access to the base for an additional site survey can be arranged after a contract is signed. The
turnaround for such a request should be fairly quick but access may vary depending on the base status
during the COVID pandemic. Requirements and costs for this or any additional service should be
included in the proposal and budget breakdown.

Update 6/29/2020

Q2: To what level should the cybersecurity review be implemented? (i.e. Stress testing the hardware provider)

A2: An outline of basic encryption and security best practices should be provided along with any quality assurance or baseline testing that is part of the security review. Additional features like stress or penetration testing are nice to have but not required.

Q3 : What involvement is the level of effort expected during this phase of the wireless networking firm to interact during the construction phase with the installation of the poles, towers, antenna, power connections, and other hardware?

A3: The selected proposer should operate within normal daytime operating hours of the installation and would need to coordinate schedules for any access with contacts provided by US Ignite.

Q4: Are there any specific requirements for the IP based cameras? (i.e. 4K, Retaining of video for X period of time? This has a direct impact on pricing.)

A4: Cameras should be at least HD, expected to operate at 10 fps. They should be able to store a video buffer that is uploaded as needed over the network being built as part of this RFP.

Q5 Would the documentation for the installation and management procedures be limited to the configuration and support of the wireless equipment? (Diagrams, drawing, matrices, charts, ect.)

A5: No additional documentation outside that which is needed to meet the scope of services present in this RFP is required.

Q6: Looking at the RFP appendixes, it appears that the network infrastructure part has already been awarded to Tilson and you are looking for Professional service support on Time and Material (Hourly Rate) basis. Is that correct understanding?

A6: US Ignite previously solicited and awarded the design of the network infrastructure to Puente-Tilson JV, LLC. This RPF is requesting proposals to develop and deploy the network as recommended in the RFP.

Q7: Do you have any specific number of requirements for the resources or you are looking vendors to suggest to manage the deployment?

A7: The RFP is requesting that the proposer manage the network deployment.

Q8: Can we also provide our proposal for complete CBRS infrastructure deployment which will be competitive to your existing Tilson proposal?

A8: Any alternate recommendations can be included in the proposal but costs associated, additional work, and any other element should be clearly indicated and broken out as a separate element of the cost proposal.

Q9: What is existing for fiber / locations at the base?

  • 9.a Is the fiber optic information available in an editable electronic format?
  • 9.b What is the specification of the fiber optic cable used for the system?
  • 9.c What level of redundancy is the fiber optic system currently using for the network?

A9: No fiber is known to be available along the route and a pathway will need to be included back to a central connection hub at the center of the installation.

Q10: What fiber assignments have been allocated to the project?

A10: There is port availability at the central switch but no fiber assignments have been made.

Q11: Will all power be accessed through the base?

A11: Yes, all power is provided by the base.

Q12: Power for New Locations: For new communication sites, is a meter Required? Do you require a separately metered cabinet, or can it be attached to the floor mount cabinet? The DPW IDG has no guidance.

A12: No meter is required, and there are currently no requirements for separate meter cabinets.

Q13: Power at Existing Poles: Can we pull power from the existing poles? If so, are existing light poles wired to a single cabinet and turned on with a single light sensor? Or is there a light sensor on the top of each luminaire?

A13: Existing poles are wired in different configurations and voltages throughout the base, including multiple poles with a single sensor and a single sensor for each luminaire. The selected proposer will work with Fort Carson utility managers to align the power requirements of the equipment to the available infrastructure.

Q14: Any outside permitting / licensing requirements?

A14: No outside permitting is required. The permitting/licensing is submitted to the Fort Carson DPW with a work order request using DA Form 4283. The form requires basic plans for the work to be completed focused on the intent/justification, type and physical area of the project. DPW will coordinate out to all relevant organizations within the DPW and Garrison (environmental, safety, fire, engineering, etc.). The processing of the Form 4283 after submission takes 14 days to review and approve. Information on the DPW can be found at the following link.

Q15: What are the approved working hours for construction for a military post?

A15: M:F 0700-1700, except Federal Holidays.  Note that the operational footprint of the base may change in an emergency leading to restricted access.  Measures related to COVID-19 may require temporary access restrictions as well.

Q16: What are the number of working days allocated for construction?

A16: We estimate construction to be completed within 90 days, absent COVID, weather-related or other potential issues.

Q17: Will a traffic control plan be required as part of the installation/construction process? On some arterial roads, a shoulder does not exist and may require the closure of a lane for a bucket truck.

A17: The traffic control plan must be IAW Part 6 of the FHWA Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). A standard plan consists of a site map illustrating the project area and location and type of all of the traffic control devices to be utilized. This plan is attached to a completed Ft Carson Utility Outage Request form (FC Form 420-E). The two forms are submitted to me for review and approval. Providing that the plan meets MUTCD standards, that approval typically takes less than 15 minutes. Once approved, the forms are submitted to the Ft Carson Dig Permit Office a minimum of 3 working days prior to implementation of the plan. This time line applies to simple lane closures. If the traffic control plan requires the full closure of a major roadway, the plan must be submitted to me a minimum of 2 weeks prior, for command review and approval.

Q18: Will specifications and plans be required for the approval of the permit? Section DPW IDG 1.1-B only dictated that we had to apply for a permit. If so, what information must be submitted with the permit? If so, what is the typical length of time for the permit to be approved once submitted?

A18: See response A14 on permitting

Q19: For equipment going into a field cabinet, does the equipment, power supplies, SFPs, and associated assemblies need to meet the temperature specifications (-34 to 74°C) for NEMA TS2 for Traffic Control Equipment? This is a typical requirement for most Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) system projects.

A19: Yes.

Q20: Will the field equipment require a hardened Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to maintain the network connectivity for field locations?

A20: UPS is not required.

Q21: If so, will this be placed in a separate cabinet, or can we put the UPS in the communication cabinet? Some agencies require different cabinets for UPS, meter, and comm cabinet for maintenance purposes.

A21: UPS and separate meters are not currently required.

Q22: Is the existing CCTV camera system setup for multicast distribution of the camera feeds to the Traffic Management Center (TMC) or other operations centers?

A22: Cameras mounted as part of this project will not integrate or interact with any existing CCTV system or management center.

Q23: How many cameras are desired along the testbed route?

A23: Three (3) locations with six (6) to nine (9) cameras along the route as needed to capture coming and going traffic.

Q24: Will the cameras be installed with legacy equipment such as at an intersection with traffic signals and associated equipment (streetlights, cabinets, traffic signal controllers, etc)?

A24: In most cases no, there may be options to connect to existing light poles.

Q25: CCTV Cameras: What are the overall goals and outcomes you are looking to measure?

A25: The cameras are to capture video of traffic during the hours of shuttle operations, should be HD in quality at least but can be in the range of 10 fps.

Q26: CCTV Cameras: Is the data collection to inform real time, mission critical operations or to perform analysis?

A26: No, data is collected and processed for post operations analysis.

Q27: CCTV Camera: Will anyone want to be able to access the video feeds in real time?

A27: While not a requirement, this is a nice to have feature.

Q28: What type of data collection are you looking to collect? Are any of them “must haves” v. “would like tos”?

A28: We must have video of traffic along the roadways during the hours of operations of the AV shuttle.

Q29: What information will you be collecting directly from the autonomous vehicles?

A29: AV data will be offloaded from the shuttle during nightly recharging and include RADAR, LIDAR, telemetry, and some cabin view camera data to a cloud provider.

Q30: What are the expectations on a maintenance term agreement?

A30: The accepted proposer would be asked to provide a base level of support including troubleshooting and provide maintenance for any equipment of network failures, replace damaged equipment as needed, and configure or upgrade devices as needed to maintain proper functionality during the test.

Q31: Is the backbone network of fiber, ethernet, power and other necessary infrastructure needed for the AV Testbed Network to interoperate already in place? If not, is any part of designing, constructing, and installing any part of such a core network within the scope of this RFP?

A31: Fiber is not available along the route and a point-to-multipoint or other solution should be assumed in the overall build strategy. The network should be constructed within the design specifications given with any additional needed design broken out and included in an estimate.

Q32: Is the successful winner of the RFP purchasing infrastructure in the role of purchasing agent acting on behalf of US Ignite or Ft Carson? Or is the successful winner purchasing and then reselling to Ft Carson or US Ignite? If the latter, are there limitations or parameters on markup, sales taxes, and receivable terms?

A32: The selected proposer is purchasing on behalf of Engineer Research and Development Center Website (ERDC).

Q33: Part Four: Scope of Services – #5 states “working with installation staff to install….”. Is the successful winner of the RFP just providing guidance and support for installation of hardware, or is the successful winner performing all the installation of hardware?

A33: The selected proposer would be performing all the installation of hardware or subcontracting for it as needed.

Q34: Term of Contract – The RFP lists the dates being 7/31/2020 – 7/31/2021 (for a total of 12 months), but the Contract Ceiling indicates an 8-month contract. Please clarify the contract term as it relates to time and materials charges.

A34: This is a typo in the RFP and the term is 12 months between the dates provided.

Q35: Contract Ceiling – are the amounts listed as ceiling for “network deployment” all inclusive of all services requested in “Part 4”? If not, please specify which specific services are included in the “network deployment” cost ceilings.

A35: Cost ceilings are all inclusive.

Q36: Contract Ceiling – pricing is asked for exclusively based on hourly rate and estimated hours. Is the successful bidder also responsible for providing construction, installation, and maintenance materials, tools, test equipment? If so, is there a schedule of required materials, tools, and test equipment required or should we identify and estimate that ourselves and provide separate estimated pricing accordingly?

A36: The proposer selected would be responsible for all elements of the contract including those mentioned. The proposer should identify needed schedules and include those in the related estimates.

Q37: Contract Ceiling – are the ceilings for OEM equipment already negotiated with the respective OEMs, or are we expected to negotiate with the OEMs as part of purchasing to come in under these ceilings?

A37: Prices provided were based on a market survey conducted at the time. Pricing has been discussed with these vendors but no guarantee has been provided so the selected proposer should expect to negotiate pricing as appropriate.

Q38: Is the successful winner of the RFP working on behalf of Ft Carson and/or US Ignite to manage and support Puente Tilson JV, LLC in the installation of the network as they have designed it? Or are bidders to this RFP bidding to be the primary installer as outlined in Appendix A & B?

A38: Puente Tilson, JV, LLC was awarded the contract to provide a network design only. The selected proposer of this RFP would be the primary installer and maintainer of the network.

Q39: Are we expected to provide RF, point-to-multipoint, point-to-point coverage predictions, and engineering studies as part of the scope? If so, are specific tools required and if so which ones? If so, are those tools provided or expected to be provided by us?

A39: Specific tools are not required. If point-to-point or point-to-multipoint is necessary for the network, any pricing or associated costs should be broken out in the estimate.

Q40: Are we expected to provide architectural, structural, soils or other engineering studies as part of the scope? If so, are specific tools required and if so which ones? If so, are those tools provided or expected to be provided by us?

A40: There are currently no expectations of any of those studies.

Q41: Are we expected to perform any permitting activities as part of the scope including zoning, building permits, FAA/FCC studies or filings, etc?

A41: No permitting or filings are expected, but access to base infrastructure will require review and discussion with Ft. Carson staff.

Q42: Will the CBRS network be operating as an incumbent, PAL, or GAA licensee? Will we have responsibilities specific to selecting, coordinating with, or implementing the SAS?

A42: The CBRS network would require an appropriate license. The cost and primary work for obtaining the license of this would be borne by US Ignite. The selected proposer would be required to coordinate with US Ignite as appropriate as they obtain the appropriate license.

Q43: Cyber Security Review – will here be any representatives from Ft Carson, the DoD, Homeland Security, et al participating in this project to contribute to the cybersecurity plan? Will our role be to coordinate with respective representatives to insure a complete plan is in place or are we providing Subject Matter Expertise on cybersecurity? If the latter, are there specific guidelines, standards, or policies we must insure are adhered to?

A43: There is no specific cybersecurity plan required over implementing best practices for security and encryption in the network itself. No entities will directly contribute to this work.

Q44: When is the equipment expected to be ordered? When is the equipment expected to be delivered?

A44: An estimated schedule for ordering, installation, and go live should be provided with the proposal. There is a desire to have the network operational within 3 months of the beginning of the contract but no specific hard date has been set.

Q45: When is the equipment supposed to be on air?

A45: An estimated schedule for ordering, installation, and go live should be provided with the proposal. There is a desire to have the network operational within 3 months of the beginning of the contract but no specific hard date has been set.

Q46: What level of support is expected during the trial?

A46: The accepted proposer would be asked to provide a base level of support including troubleshooting and provide maintenance for any equipment of network failures, replace damaged equipment as needed, and configure or upgrade devices as needed to maintain proper functionality during the test.

Q47: The documentation describes colocation on existing poles and/or new poles. What mix of each should we assume?

A47: Approximately half the route in the southern portion has pole coverage, with more provided in the northern area.

Q48: For the new poles, who is providing them?

A48: The selected proposer is responsible for purchasing or acquiring necessary equipment and should select an appropriate source.

Q49: Will foundation design/pole design be specified or is the bidder to include that cost?

A49: The bidder should adhere to the current aesthetic of poles used on post and should select a source in alignment with that.

Q50: The design documentation identifies an assumption that power and fiber exist near the pole. How nearby should we assume power and fiber are to each proposed pole location?

A50: Power is available at or near most pole locations. Fiber is not available along the path.

Q51: Is power at each location expected to be metered?

A51: No metering is required for this project.

Q52: Will a one-line power diagram be provided?

A52: A power diagram is available.

Q53: Is permitting required for power?

A53: See response A14 on permitting

Q54: Please provide UPS specification/requirement.

A54: UPS is not required for the network.

Q55: Fiber: How many strands are needed to each node? Where is the fiber d-marc? (i.e. where does fiber from each node run at the other end) What fiber testing is required?

A55: A recommendation for the number of strands should be included in the build estimate, No fiber is available along the path and a point-to-multipoint or other method for connecting to a hub may be required. Standard QA testing should be performed on the fiber with a security best practices review but no additional testing is required.

Q56: Is RF testing required? If so, please specify. Where are the BBUs to be located?

A56: No additional testing is required.

Q57: Are we to supply the Radwin and/or JMA equipment or is that being purchased directly by US Ignite?

A57: The contract will be a time and materials contract and the selected proposer will purchase the equipment on behalf of the Department of Defense.

Update 6/30/2020

Providing the RF Design KMZ Included with Design that was sent for teams to use if needed. These are provide as they were provided to us.