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Summit County Releases RFQ for Fiber Ring Engineering and Construction Services

Summit for Fiber News Room

Summit County, Ohio – The county hit another milestone in the development of their countywide Broadband Fiber Ring project, releasing an RFQ for Fiber Ring Engineering and Construction Services.

The RFQ was seeking electronic submissions of qualifications up to 2:00 PM EST on Thursday, November 4, 2021.

Network Overview

The document describes the network as approximately 125 miles in length, with underground runs at 100 Gigabit per second speeds connecting all 31 communities in the county.

Fiber Network Construction

The release states that the county will handle the majority of materials procurement and supply, such as "conduit, fiber, vaults". With a stated construction timeline beginning in 2022 and seeing completion by 2024, the ambitious project seeks to get started right away.

MCM Consulting Group, Inc., which prepared initial plans, is named as the project's Criteria Engineer and has been retained as such.

The construction will occur along a combination of public right-of-way along with other property outlined in MCM's documents.

The RFQ's selection criteria precludes consultants with direct involvement in the design-build proposal or Scope of Services document for this design-build contract, either in a first-level prime consultant or as a sub-consultant.

Design-Build Candidate Selection Process

From Thursday, November 11 to Tuesday, November 16, 2021, a preselection committee will conduct interviews among leading candidates, with the final selection of firms for advancement to the RFP process being decided by Friday, November 19, 2021.

RFQ Process

The release was delivered to the Akron Beacon Journal on October 19, 2021 with the intent of being advertised on Thursday, October 21, 2021 in addition to being posted on the county's website.

Next Steps

Besides the RFP process that will follow, Summit County's project plan indicates a November 2021 timeline to kick off a separate release for the fiber network's data center. The executive's office also plans to have more information available in the first quarter of 2022 regarding community broadband grants for the network's expansion in areas throughout the county.