SWIFT Issues RFP to Expand High-Speed Internet in Norfolk County

The RFP is expected to close on September 19th with contracts being awarded and service provider agreements in place later this Fall.

On July 26th, SWIFT issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the design and construction of an $8.3 million high-speed broadband infrastructure project in Norfolk County.

Internet Services Providers (ISPs) that have been prequalified through SWIFT’s Request for Prequalification (RFPQ) process have been invited to submit network proposals aimed at connecting business facilities, public buildings and residences in underserved areas within Norfolk County. 

“The project’s goal is to improve broadband connectivity for residents and businesses throughout the region,” says Barry Field, SWIFT Chief Operating Officer.  “Providing ISPs with incentives and greater opportunities to expand open access broadband infrastructure into underserved communities will strengthen the economic prosperity of the region and generate greater competition among service providers.”

The Norfolk County RFP is now available to SWIFT’s prequalified ISPs for review on bids&tenders™, an electronic tendering service.

The RFP is expected to close on September 19th at which point SWIFT will evaluate all compliant proposals based on a pre-determined evaluation criteria, which include the following factors:

  • Premises/households passed
  • Number of fibre kilometres constructed
  • Technology scalability towards symmetrical 1Gbps service
  • ISP contribution proportion
  • Residential rate for 50/10 service
  • Timeline to complete project
  • Connection to sites of public benefit
  • Ability to meet project objectives

SWIFT’s evaluation process is scheduled to take place early October with contracts and agreements being award and announced later this Fall.

The SWIFT initiative will be delivered in a phased approach starting with three initial projects in Norfolk, Wellington and Lambton counties.  The total cost of infrastructure investment for the initial projects is projected to be $31.7 million with RFPs being released in a staggered approach over the upcoming weeks.

Upon the successful completion of the procurements in Norfolk, Wellington and Lambton counties, SWIFT intends to move forward with the next phase of its initiative to ensure the expansion of high-speed connectivity throughout the remaining communities in Southwestern Ontario.

Quick Facts

  • Estimated cost to ‘fiberize’ all underserved areas in Norfolk County is $141 million.
  • $8.3 million will begin the initial first steps in the process to address connectivity challenges within Norfolk County, however not all household/premises located in underserved areas (50/10) within the region are guaranteed to be connected during this phase of the project.
  • SWIFT was approved for funding up to $127.4 million under the Canada-Ontario Small Communities Fund (SCF), a joint federal and provincial infrastructure funding program. SWIFT is leveraging additional funding from municipal partners and private sector investors to bring the total project investment to $209 million.

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