On May 12, 2017, the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Network will release a two stage Request for Pre-Qualification (RFPQ resulting in a list of prequalified respondents. Successfully prequalified respondents will be invited to respond to subsequent Request for Proposals (RFPs) to begin investing nearly $300 million in building broadband for everyone in Southwestern Ontario, Caledon, and Niagara Region.

The RFPQ process will contain two stages and will be used to establish a list of prequalified respondents to submit proposal(s) in response to subsequent RFP(s) for the network construction. The network will be competitively bid and designed through a RFP process.

The RFPQ is expected to be released on or about May 12, 2017 with the primary focus being on stage one of the process.

Stage one of the RFPQ process will require respondents to share information about the exact location of their existing infrastructure and known service gaps, as well as their business structure and financial plans. The RFPQ will begin the process of establishing critical network standards and eligibility criteria for building the SWIFT network.

The location and amount of fibre-optic infrastructure built in each community will be determined by the final overall design of the project, as informed by the RFPQ process. The final proposed project design will be released through RFP in late 2017 and confirmed when respondents are selected to build out the project.

In order to participate in the RFP, interested respondents must participate and be prequalified through the RFPQ process.

SWIFT is using this multi-stage process to ensure the goals of the project are achieved within our projected timeline. Responding to the RFPQ will require a significant amount information sharing, time and effort, therefore it is important that interested respondents begin preparing to respond well in advance of the anticipated May 12, 2017 release of the RFPQ. We are sharing this update to remind interested parties as well as the general public about the upcoming release of the RFPQ and provide as much advance notice of the RFPQ/RFP process as possible in order to proactively prevent delays in building the network.

The RFPQ and RFP(s) will be posted on Bonfire along with details of all bid opportunities posted on www.biddingo.com/simcoe as they are released. All information will be cross-posted and shared through our website and mailing list.

We have launched a portal to help interested bidders understand the project and the procurement proess.

You can find answers to common questions, important timelines, and other useful information at www.swiftruralbroadband.ca/procurement, including eligibility to respond.

This does not replace the official procurement process, rather it is intended to help assist potential respondents prepare for the RFPQ/RFP process and provide transparency and accountability for our stakeholders.

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