Madison, Wisconsin

Partnership for Deployment of a Fiber‐to‐the‐Premises (FTTP) Network


The City seeks to increase the availability and affordability of a minimum 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) service. The City seeks proposed approaches from for‐profit and nonprofit partners that envision a long‐term relationship with the City; while we prefer the business model described in Section VI, the City will not automatically disqualify proposals that suggest alternative business models.

RFP Summary

The City of Madison, Wisconsin (City) issues this request for proposal (RFP) to convey our interest in partnering with a sophisticated and motivated partner (Partner) to bring fiber‐based, Gigabit‐class broadband service to the City. The successful Partner will lease access to City‐owned, universally‐ deployed fiber‐to‐the‐premises (FTTP) infrastructure, and will provide broadband internet service to residents, businesses, and community anchor institutions (CAIs)1 within the City.
The City is particularly concerned with a network deployment that will further its Racial Equity & Social Justice (RESJ) goals, providing truly equitable service to all within the City, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, income, place of birth, place of residence, or other group status. As such, the City is not interested in pursuing a model that provides only low‐ level service to those unable to afford a service provider’s lowest prices. Although the City does not aim to dictate retail pricing structure and service levels, a Partner should be willing to work with the City to enable all members of our community to have access to world‐class high‐speed service at price points they can afford.


This initiative is guided by the following principles:
1. Equity: Every resident and business in Madison should have access to fast and affordable broadband connectivity necessary to participate and thrive in the 21st century. The City intends to prioritize providing service to traditionally underserved populations.
2. Jobs, Innovation, Growth: Investment in new connectivity will result in increased local employment and provide numerous economic development advantages for the entire City.
3. Investing in the Future: Residents, businesses, and non‐profit organizations will have affordable choices with stable rates for high quality connectivity faster than current broadband services offered today and will sustain and continue to grow educational, economic and cultural opportunities.
4. Furthers the City’s RESJ objectives: Enables all residents and businesses truly equitable and affordable access to service—regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, income, place of birth, place of residence or other group status.
5. Promotes a competitive local broadband marketplace: The partnership will facilitate a local broadband marketplace that is as competitive as reasonably possible. While this procurement seeks one partner, and the City may consider short‐term exclusivity with a selected partner, a key overall goal is to foster competition in a way that supports the community’s best interest.
6. Supports unfettered access: The FTTP network will deliver an unfettered data offering that does not impose caps or usage limits on one use of data over another (i.e., does not limit streaming). All application providers (data, voice, video, cloud services) are equally able to provide their services, and the consumer’s access to advanced data will open up the marketplace.

Tangible Work Products / Scope of Work

The City anticipates the following network design and construction parameters for the City‐owned network:
• Fully fiber‐based connectivity to all customers;
• Fiber strand capacity capable of providing direct homerun connections to businesses and residential “power” users;
• Fiber strand capacity and physical architecture (e.g., handhole placement, backbone routes, etc.) anticipating full deployment to all homes and businesses;
• Low latency;
• Backbone topology capable of supporting connections over diverse paths from one or more central hub locations to fiber distribution cabinets located throughout the area to facilitate high‐availability service offerings;
• Fiber distribution plant placed in underground conduit (as opposed to direct burial cable) to more readily facilitate repairs and capacity upgrades;
• Active components placed in environmentally hardened shelters and/or cabinets equipped with backup power generation and/or batteries, as appropriate, capable of sustaining services in the event of extended power outages;
• Fiber path diversity to public facilities to maintain continuous service even if one path is broken;
• Underground communications conduit pathways that the City and/or localities in our service area can use for future scalability.
• Fiber routes align with existing City conduit and coincide with planned local public utility, roadway, and related capital improvement projects to reduce cost and minimize disruption where possible

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