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Austin Utilities

Austin, Minnesota

Request-for-Proposal
for a
Management Partnership
to
Deliver Retail Broadband Access
over a
Wireless Broadband Network
July 27, 2010
Proposal Due Date: 1PM, Mon., Aug. 23, 2010


 
Table of Contents
1. Background and Purpose............................................................................... 3
1.1 Objectives..................................................................................................... 3
1.2 Private-Public Partnership Model ................................................................ 4
1.3 City of Austin Background ........................................................................... 5
1.4 Austin Utilities ............................................................................................. 6
1.5 Internet Offering .......................................................................................... 6
1.6 Request for Proposal Purpose Internet Offering ......................................... 7
1.7 Approvals .................................................................................................... 6
2.1 Wireless Network Documentation................................................................ 7
3. Management Partner Overview ..................................................................... 11
3.1 Responsibilities ............................................................................................ 11
3.1.1 Terms & Definitions................................................................................... 13
3.1.2 Management Partner Responsibilities....................................................... 14
3.1.2.1 Internet Service Provider (ISP) .............................................................. 15
3.1.2.2 Customer Services & Technical Support................................................ 15
3.1.2.3 Perform Network Operations. ................................................................ 18
3.1.3 Austin Utility Responsibilities..................................................................... 18
3.1.3.1 Network Ownership................................................................................. 18
3.1.3.2 Other Facilities........................................................................................ 19
3.1.3.3 Maintain Ownership of Subscriber. ........................................................ 19
3.1.3.4 Set Policies............................................................................................. 19
3.1.3.5 Provide Specified Support to Management Partner................................ 20
3.1.4 Subscriber Pricing and Compensation for services................................... 20
3.2. Partnership Proposals ................................................................................. 21
3.3. Partnership Preferences............................................................................... 21
4. Response Submittal Instructions..................................................................... 21
4.1 Filing of Proposals......................................................................................... 21
4.2 Questions ..................................................................................................... 22
4.3 Proprietary Information ................................................................................. 22
4.4 Respondent Qualifications and Experience .................................................. 22
4.5 Schedule........................................................................................................ 22
4.6 Presentations and Site Visits ........................................................................ 23
4.7 Austin Utilities Contact .................................................................................. 23
4.8 Rejection of Proposals .................................................................................. 23
4.9 Austin Utilities Vendor Selection.................................................................... 23
4.10 Escalation.................................................................................................... 23
4.11 Patents ........................................................................................................ 23
4.12 Information to Accompany Proposal............................................................ 24
4.13 Minor Irregularities........................................................................................ 24

Appendices
A. Demarcation Points……………………………………………………………….. 25
B. Logical Diagram…………………………………………………………………… 26
C. RFP Response and Questions………………………………………………….. 27


 
1. Background and Purpose
Austin Utilities (located in Austin Minnesota) seeks to enhance the community’s quality
of life by promoting the availability and affordability of mobile / portable high-speed and
broadband data connectivity. Austin Utilities views high-speed wireless service as one
way to more effectively compete in the municipal market space; attract and retain a
wide variety of residents, businesses, organizations, and visitors; and enhance the
efficiency and effectiveness of municipal and educational services. Applications of this
technology range from support of interactive video communications for emergency
responders to bringing access to multimedia-rich content to students at home. Many of
the creative ways in which anytime-anywhere access to the Internet will be used can
only be imagined by those who are willing to experiment with this innovation.

1.1 Objectives

Austin Utilities seeks to enhance community development in the city by promoting the
demand and affordability of high-speed and broadband data connectivity. Austin Utility’s
visions to reach this objective include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Austin is a connected community, where all people have an equal opportunity to


participate in civic affairs through all means possible, at all times possible, in all
places possible.
• Austin is a place where community connections and the quality of life are
enhanced by access to high-speed Internet access anywhere, at any time, by
anyone.
• Austin is a community-wide Internet hot spot where all thrive civically and
economically for a lifetime.

The goals to reach this objective include:

• Offer an always-on high-speed (symmetrical 1 Mbps) alternative priced to


compete with dial-up services.
o Residential Market (under $25 per month, including the Customer
Premises equipment (CPE).
o Small Business Market (under $35 per month, including the CPE).
• Ensure that the broadband enterprise maintains a positive cash flow.
• Increase awareness of the benefits of high-speed access.
• Advance the community’s connectivity options and initiate an “unwired city
campaign.
• Encourage new applications, such as telemedicine and distance learning.
• Enable applications and other public services to support expanded public safety
service initiatives (video monitoring, remote access, other).
• Recognize and support the benefits of high-speed mobile and portable
connectivity.


 
1.2. Private-Public Partnership Model
The service model being used by Austin Utilities is a public-private partnership.
Information on the proposed model is included in Section 3 of this RFP, which
essentially calls for Austin Utilities to exercise its core competencies while the private
partner(s) to do the same. Appendix A shows a block diagram of the demarcation
points between Austin Utilities and the Management Partner.

Under the business model, Austin Utilities will:

• Own the wireless network electronic components (Access points, gateways, and
media converters);
• Provide the core switches and routers;
• Provide physical space and support infrastructure (electrical power, climate
control, physical security, etc.) as required to house central network components
(switches, routers, and servers);
• Provide fiber optic network infrastructure;
• Provide the primary connection to the Internet through a national, or regional
TIER 1 or 2 provider;
• Provide community brand image;
• Approve service offerings & prices;
• Support marketing efforts;
• Monitor financial performance;
• Monitor customer satisfaction;
• Finance network upgrades;
• Manage demarcation between Austin Utilities & Management Partner, which
allows replacement of management partner, if required;
• Maintain customer "hot-line" to allow feedback regarding management partner
performance;
• Approve all marketing and promotion activities;
• Control and maintain potential advertising revenues (i.e. Google, Yahoo &
others);
• Provide access to Austin Utilities mounting assets for wireless network
components; and
• Offer financing assistance for CPE’s and accessories.

The Management Partner will operate the ISP, lease access to Austin Utilities wireless
network, and:
• Provide design, testing, and technical guidance, as needed
• Assist in coverage testing and performance verification;
• Assist in proof of performance testing;
• Modify and/or optimize configurations of the core switches, routers, and other
wireless network components, as needed;
• Assist with moving & setup of core switch equipment from SMIG office to Austin
Public Utilities;


 
• Assist with procurement (if needed), and setup of new core router to replace
Internet routing function previously provided by SMIG;
• Assist with new connection and configuration of new TIER 1-2 provider to Austin
Utilities network;
• Work with SMIG to coordinate the move of subscriber’s email from existing SMIG
server to new MP system;
• Acquire and install required servers and software for ISP hosting (billing,
authentication, accounting, etc.) and email support (See the logical diagram in
Appendix B);
• Issue monthly billing;
• Provide help desk support for end users (minimum support hours 8AM to 8 PM
M-F, 10AM to 2PM Sat);
• Provide physical space and support infrastructure for help-desk ,sales, and
administrative personnel and systems;
• Provide physical space and support infrastructure (electrical power, climate
control, physical security, etc.) to house central network components (switches,
routers, and servers) not located at a Austin Utilities facility;
• Operate & maintain network;
• Direct sales & marketing efforts – we believe more subscribers can be acquired
with additional sales & marketing efforts;
• Provide authentication server;
• Maintain customer satisfaction;
• Conduct & schedule professional installations;
• Maintain and manage authentication (process and equipment);
• Provide email services, including performing server maintenance;
• Provide redundant Internet connectivity;
• Monitor network; and
• Collect operational statistics.

We are open to consider other business models as long as the best interests of Austin
Utilities and the Austin community are served.

1.3 City of Austin Background


Austin is located in Mower County, Minnesota, United States. The population was
23,314 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Mower County, located at the
intersection of Interstate 90 and U.S. 218 in the southeastern part of the state. The town
was originally settled along the Cedar River, and has two man-made lakes called East
Side Lake and Mill pond. The Hormel Foods Corporation is the largest employer in
Austin.

Area
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city of Austin has a total area of
10.9 mi². 10.8 mi² of it is land; 0.1 mi² is water.
Population


 
As of the census² of 2000, there were 23,314 people, 9,897 households, and 6,076
families residing in the city. The population density was 2,168.2/mi². There were 10,261
housing units at an average density of 954.3/mi². Of the 9,897 households, 27.2% had
children under the age of 18, 48.6% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a
female householder with no husband present, and 38.6% were non-families. Moreover,
33.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.2% had someone living
alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29; the
average family size was 2.90.

In the city the population was spread out, with 23.3% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18
to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 22.0% who were 65 years of age
or older. The median age was 40 years.
Income
The median income for a household in the city was $33,750, and the median income for
a family was $42,691. Males had a median income of $31,787 versus $23,158 for
females. The per capita income for the city was $20,651. About 7.5% of families and
10.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.0% of those under
age 18 and 5.1% of those ages 65 or over.

1.4 Austin Utilities


Austin Utilities is community-owned, not-for-profit water, electric, and natural gas
supplier, created by local residents more than a century ago to provide high quality,
affordable services tailored to the unique needs of the Austin area. Austin Utilities
serves 12,428 electric, 10,386 natural gas and 9,038 water customers. Annual revenues
top $55 million, and about 2.85% of gross revenues, or $1.57 million, in 2009, are
contributed to the City annually in lieu of taxes to further support the community. To
provide the high quality services Austin Utilities customers have grown accustomed to
requires a staff of 90 full-time professionals to provide virtually uninterrupted services on
demand - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Austin Utilities is directed by a 5-member
Board of Commissioners. The commissioners are elected by the consumer-owners of
Austin to represent their best interests.

1.5 Internet Offering


Austin Utilities’ Internet offering consists of a low-cost, high-speed connection for
residences and small businesses. The service, delivered via a wireless network (see
Section 2 for additional information), will include the following features and
characteristics:

• Plug & Play Customer Premises Equipment.


o High power (200mW) wireless CPE
o Supports 802.11b/g.
o Supports 802.1x authentication and advanced encryption and
authentication standards (802.11i / WPA2).
o External or high-gain antenna optional.
• Minimize truck rolls required to activate new customers (goal of less than 10%).


 
• Network monitoring to identify high-use customers, and present customer
specific data, such as Signal-to-Noise Ratios (SNR) and other parameters.
• A nominal service plan for $19.95 per month plus CPE costs for an always-on
symmetrical 128 Kbps service with at least two e-mail accounts and support at
least two connections per account.
• Relative to the nominal $19.95 service, additional tiered services offering:
o Higher and lower data rates
o Additional email accounts
o Additional device connections
o Static IP address
o Roamer traffic (e.g. mobile accounts)
o Web hosting
o Online file storage
o One-time visitors (hourly, daily, weekly rates)

1.6 Request for Proposal Purpose


The purpose of this RFP is to solicit interest from potential partners for the possible
citywide implementation.

• Austin Utilities may select one or more partners to participate in the project.
• Austin Utilities is open to a wide range of fee options for the proposed business
model. Proposals that have the respondent sharing financial risks are preferred.
• Austin Utilities may select one or several finalists to review in more detail, and
may require demonstrations of potential partner’s hosting and management
services.

Austin Utilities will select the Management Partner based upon the proposed
business model, technical response, and demonstrated experience that are
deemed by Austin Utilities to be in the best interests of Austin Utilities and the
community of Austin.

Respondents to this RFP accept that all RFP processes and all transactions with project
related service providers are conducted in compliance with applicable law and Austin
Utilities charter provisions.

2. Wireless Network Documentation (Information Only)


Austin Utilities has determined a set of principal requirements for wireless network
equipment and solution providers.

General network hardware includes:

• The Strix Systems OWS 2400 Series Wi-Fi mesh radio is used for all wireless
nodes in the network.
• All retail CPE devices are to be based upon IEEE standards (802.11 b/g, other).
The current CPE device being used is the Ruckus MM2211.


 
• The system is capable of supporting Public safety-service applications, and if
implemented must:
o Receive priority over retail Internet traffic.
o Public safety-service applications can reside on same frequency as retail
traffic as long as no degradation of either traffic is seen.
o Public safety-service applications can use 4.9 GHz band, as long as the
4.9GHz band is not used for retail traffic (direct to the subscriber or
backhaul of retail traffic).
o Node-to-Node backhaul of traffic must not interfere with or limit available
bandwidth for node-to-CPE and CPE-to-node communications.

The design includes the following characteristics:

• The use of a wireless mesh routing technology, such that certain radio nodes
function both as wireless access points (WAPs) for client connectivity and as
gateways with direct connectivity to the core switches/routers, while the other nodes
function as WAPs and connect wirelessly to neighboring nodes for backhaul
transport of traffic. The mesh network shall have the following characteristics:
ƒ Ability for each WAP to connect to multiple neighboring WAPs and route
traffic automatically around WAP failures for improved network availability;
and
ƒ The use of dedicated channels or frequencies for backhaul traffic versus
connections to client devices (customers);
• The majority of radio gateways are connected via fiber optics;
• A total of 345 radio nodes are deployed throughout the city.
ƒ 12 fiber connected gateways are located throughout the city (see Appendix A
for locations)
• The core Ethernet switch is currently located at SMIG’s office at 801 16th Ave. NE,
and will need to be moved to an equipment cabinet at Austin Public Utilities.
• The core fiber-Ethernet network operates at Gigabit speed.
• The Wi-Fi backbone operates at an over the air data rate of 54Mbps
• Current break down of subscribers:
ƒ Starter (128Kbps) – 118 subscribers
ƒ Select (1Mbps) – 412 subscribers
ƒ Deluxe (up to 3Mbps) – 111 subscribers
• Typical daily peak traffic for the entire network is 20Mbps. Figure 1 on the next page
shows the network utilization statistics.


 
Figure 1

Potential Retail Customers

The make-up of potential customers includes:


Residences
Approximately 9,900 occupied households are located in the City of Austin.


 
• 7,864 - in single family and duplexes
• 664 - in MFH in unit size of 3 to 9
• 556 - in MFH in unit size of 10 to 49
• 629 - in MFH in unit size of 50 or more
• 187 - in mobile homes

In Table 2-1 and Table 2-2 we show a listing of apartment and senior housing in the
City.
Table 2-1: Austin Apartments
Type Name Address Units Served By

Apt Burr Oak Villas 400 10th Ave NW 18, in 2 buildings Network WAP’s
Apt Chauncey Apts 310 2nd Ave NE 81 Indoor WAP’s
Apt Whittier Place Townhomes 8 Network WAP’s
Apt Austin Courtyard 308 2nd Ave NE 78 Indoor WAP’s
Apt Webster School Apts 403 12th St NE 12 Network WAP’s
Apt North Pointe Apts 12 Network WAP’s
Apt Lincoln School Apts 911 5th Ave NE 30 Dedicated gateway
Apt Key Apts 900 14th St NW 128 Indoor WAP’s
Apt Center Court 200 25th St SW 51 Indoor WAP’s
Apt Fair Oaks Apts 200 11th Ave NW 24 Dedicated Gateway
Apt R & F Apts 1200 2nd Dr NE 39 Indoor WAP’s
Apt Austin Apts 3rd Ave & 2nd St NE 17 Dedicated Gateway
Apt Murphy Creek Townhomes 502 25th St 88 Indoor WAP’s
Apt Prairie Sky Apts 1701 8th St NW 24 Dedicated Gateway
Apt Whittier Place Townhomes 24 Dedicated Gateway
Apt Mandolin Pl 203 31st St SW 72 Indoor WAP’s
Apt Bremerton Townhomes 300 27th St SW 60 Indoor WAP’s
Apt Western Manor Apt 303 27th St SW 72 Indoor WAP’s

Table 2-2: Austin Senior Housing


Type Name Address Units Served By
Sr. Housing Pickett Place 808 1st Dr NW 100 Indoor WAP’s
Sr. Housing Twin Towers 200 1st Ave NE 204 Indoor WAP’s
Sr. Housing St. Mark’s Apts 1401 4th St SW 48 Indoor WAP’s
Sr. Housing Our House Memorial Care 24 Dedicated Gateway
Sr. Housing Primerose 1701 22nd Ave SW 64 Indoor WAP’s
Sr. Housing Sacred Heart Apts 1200 12th St SW 26 Dedicated Gateway
Sr. Housing Oaks Condominium 1200 18th Ave NW 40 Indoor WAP’s
Sr. Housing Our House AL 204 14th St NW 20 Dedicated Gateway
Sr. Housing Cedars of Austin 700 1st Dr NW 131 Indoor WAP’s

Businesses
We estimate that there are 900 businesses in Austin. The anticipated market for the
wireless services are the smaller business and specialty users. For example, while it
makes no sense for Hormel to consider use of the service for its Internet connection,
they may be interested in maintaining roamer accounts for use by customer and
suppliers visiting their facilities.

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3. Management Partner Overview
3.1 Responsibilities
The Management Partner will be responsible for operation and maintenance of the
wireless network. Given this, the Management Partner is expected to have experience
managing, maintaining, and performance tuning wireless mesh networks. We have
included a summary of responsibilities for Austin Utilities and the Management Partner
in Table 3-1 and Table 3-2. The responsibilities are further defined in Sections 3.1.2 and
3.1.3.

Austin Utilities goals/ objectives include:

• Reduce risk of operating expenses exceeding budget.


• Minimize cash flow shortages if market share targets not reached.
• Maintain Austin Utilities branding image.
• Maintain a positive cash flow.
• Ensure affordable high-speed access is universally available.

Austin Utilities is responsible for securing and paying debt, setting policies, approving
pricing, and maintaining ownership of the customer. Austin Utilities owns the required
attachments for the wireless access points and gateways. Austin Utilities will supply
crews and equipment to replace and remove wireless access points and gateways. This
support does not include supplying crews and equipment to maintain any point-to-
multipoint backbone radio equipment. The management partner is responsible for the
day-to-day maintenance and operations, acquiring the required customers, and
maintaining the ISP.
Table 3-1: Austin Utilities Responsibilities
Activity/Attribute Benefit
Own & Finance Network • Reduce market barrier entry for private
management partner
• Control universal coverage objectives
• Control affordability
Provide wireless network
Provide core network (routers & switches)
Provide physical space and support infrastructure for
core network and central servers as required
Provide primary Internet connection for the network from
a TIER 1 or 2 provider
Install required fiber extensions
Provide community brand image Lower customer Lower customer acquisition costs
acquisition costs
Approve service offerings & prices Maintain affordability Maintain affordability objectives
objectives
Support marketing efforts Reduce marketing costs by leveraging existing customer
communication (newsletters, mailers, website, etc).
Monitor financial performance Ensure payments to Austin Utilities per partnership
agreement
Monitor customer satisfaction • Ensure management partner maintains
customer contact
• Protect Austin Utilities brand image
Finance network upgrades

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Manage demarcation between Austin Utilities &
management partner, which allows replacement of
management partner if required
Maintain customer "hot-line" to allow feedback regarding
management partner performance
Approve all marketing and promotion activities
Control and maintain potential advertising revenues (i.e.
Google, Yahoo & others)
Provide access to Austin Utilities mounting assets
Provide financing for CPE purchase

Table 3-2: Management Partner Responsibilities


Activity/Attribute Benefit
Issue monthly billing Help desk receives a substantial number of billing
questions
Provide network design and technical implementation
guidance
Assist in coverage testing and performance verification
Assist in performance testing

Provide physical space and support infrastructure for


help-desk personnel and systems
Provide physical space and support infrastructure for
core network and central servers as required
Provide help desk (8AM to 8 PM M-F, 10AM to 2PM Spread help desk costs over a larger user base
Sat)
Operate & maintain network Eliminates need for Austin Utilities to add technical staff
Direct sales & marketing efforts Leverages existing marketing campaigns and advertising
Setup & maintain core network (routers & switches)
Provide AAA Servers (authentication, billing, monitoring,
administrative, etc)
Setup & maintain AAA servers
Setup and maintain Email server, or services for at least Allows for Email server/service to be located somewhere
1 Email account per subscriber outside Austin
Maintain customer satisfaction
Conduct & schedule professional installations
Maintain and manage authentication (process and
equipment)
Provide email services, including servers
Operate the ISP
Provide redundant Internet connection
Provide CPE's and related hardware
Monitor network
Perform operational statistics

Uncollectible service charges are the responsibility of both parties (Management


Partner will not be required to pay Austin Utilities the subscriber fee for unpaid
subscribers, nor will the Management Partner be reimbursed by Austin Utilities).

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3.1.1 Terms & Definitions
Definitions of terms used in this RFP include:

Add-on Service Revenues:


Revenues obtained from additional services or enhancements such as Voice-over-
Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone, static internet Protocol (IP) addresses, parental
filters, etc. Add-on service revenues do not include advertising revenues.

Backhaul Network:
Portion of wide-area-network used to transport information to/from the wireless network
gateways (base stations) to the network switches/routers.

Basic Service:
Internet access service which delivers a burstable 1 Mbps symmetrical data connection.
Austin Utilities currently has roughly 650 subscribers total. The majority of the
subscribers currently subscribe to this $24.99/month 1Mbps service.

Connectivity Service Revenues:


Revenues obtained from the Dial-Up Buster, Basic, and Deluxe Internet access
services.

Connectivity Service:
Service which provides the ability to connect with another device or facility; forming a
logically continuous path between two or more devices/facilities. Examples include, but
are not limited to Internet access, point-to-point connection between two facilities, Point-
to-multipoint or routable connections among multiple facilities.

Deluxe Service:
Internet access service which delivers a burstable 2.5 to 3 Mbps symmetrical data
connection. The decision of whether a 2.5 Mbps or 3 Mbps service defines the Deluxe
service is to be mutually agreed upon between the Austin Utilities and the selected
Management Partner. This service currently sells for $34.99/month.

Dial Up Buster:
Internet access service which delivers a burstable 128 Kbps symmetrical data
connection for $19.99/month.

Fiber Network: See backhaul network.

Static IP: An Internet Protocol (IP) address which does not change each time a
subscriber logs in or is authenticated.

Sub-Backhaul Network: Point-to-Multipoint radio network connecting the Wi-Fi access


points to the backhaul network
Technical Support - Technical Support services include, but may not be limited to:
• Help Desk Support

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• Installation Support
• Ongoing Subscriber Support
• Troubleshooting (hardware, software, bridge, software and wiring issues)
• Usage Support (How to Perform a Specific Task)
• Remote support (remotely configure subscriber PCs)
• Live Internet chat (available during Subscriber Service hours)
• Email questions/support (answered within 24 hours)
• Subscriber self help (web-based and CD support)
• Billing/account Inquiries

Tier1 Support (minimum qualifications):


Basic application software and/or hardware support for connectivity of callers and other
products provided through this agreement. This would include new subscriptions;
modifying existing subscription information (passwords, email addresses and billing
plan); instituting subscription suspension & cancellation. Support is available 8AM to
8PM Monday through Friday and 10AM to 2PM on Saturdays. At least one senior staff
member will be available per shift.

Tier2 Support (minimum qualifications):


The role of the Tier 2 agent is typically that of a senior staff member. Escalation to this
level is appropriate when Tier 1 interaction has been unable to resolve the issue and
further action transcends the authority of Tier 1 staff. Senior staff member will conduct
one-on-one support activities with subscribers as needed. These individuals are also
responsible for compiling periodic reviews of individual and team performance.

Tier3 Support (minimum qualifications):


This team is directly under the close supervision of the Management Partner
management and engineers. Senior staff members have the authority to take actions
that fall outside the standard operating policies. Escalation to Tier 3 is appropriate in
cases where Tier 1 and Tier 2 interactions have been unsuccessful in resolving an
operational issue. At this level there is typically a truck roll.

Wi-Fi Network:
Wireless network based upon subscriber access via IEEE 802.11b/g standards.

Subscriber Churn Rate:


The rate at which a subscriber switches his/her service provider.

3.1.2 Management Partner Responsibilities

The Management Partner is responsible for all costs and expenses to operate and
maintain the ISP, the wireless network, and electronic to optic interfaces to Austin
Utilities fiber network. The Management Partner shall comply with all Austin Utilities
standards, policies and performance contained in this RFP, as well as state data
practices laws and other applicable statutes and rules. Additionally, the Management
Partner (MP) shall perform the following services:

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3.1.2.1 Internet Service Provider (ISP)

3.1.2.1.1 Operate the Internet service. The MP infrastructure must use high availability
technologies, redundant power supplies, redundant servers, and redundant physical
connections to key resources (including Internet access). MP servers are used for DNS,
e-mail hosting, website hosting, virus protection, and SPAM filtering. Ideally, customer
data on each server shall be mirrored in real-time over a storage area network (SAN) or
internally using RAID storage configurations. Each server shall be backed up nightly to
tape, or other removable storage media. Monthly backups are to be archived and kept
offsite for security and potential disaster recovery. Once a week MP shall perform
partial restores of data from tape, or other media, to verify media integrity. Each server
is also to have a monthly snapshot for disaster recovery assurance.

3.1.2.1.2 Maintain and manage authentication (process).

3.1.2.1.3 Provide email services, including servers.

3.1.2.1.4 Provide all services including servers required to operate the ISP including the
AAA (Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting) servers.

3.1.2.1.5 Provide monthly operational statistics.

3.1.2.1.6 Respond to subpoenas regarding subscriber traffic. Using log files archived
on MP servers, MP shall be able to identify subscriber’s based on IP addresses of CPE,
usernames, or other unique identifying information. This information can be used in the
event a subpoena is served for a subscriber. This information is archived on tape for
not less than two years. All subpoenas for users will be coordinated by MP. The system
must comply with all applicable federal and local laws for lawful interception of customer
traffic.

3.1.2.1.7 Maintain Quality of Service (QOS) standards.

3.1.2.1.8 Provide physical space and support infrastructure for help-desk, sales, and
administrative personnel and systems.

3.1.2.1.9 Provide physical space and support infrastructure (electrical power, climate
control, physical security, etc.) to house central network components (switches, routers,
and servers) not located at an Austin Utilities facility.

3.1.2.1.10 Provide design, testing, and technical guidance, as needed, during the
network implementation.

3.1.2.1.11 Assist in coverage testing and performance verification.

3.1.2.1.12 Assist in proof of performance and/or pilot testing.


3.1.2.2 Customer Services & Technical Support.

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3.1.2.2.1 Perform subscriber contact.

3.1.2.2.2 Maintain subscriber satisfaction.

3.1.2.2.3 Manage subscriber expectations.

3.1.2.2.4 Hold periodic subscriber meetings to listen to what is working well, what needs
improvement, and provide tips on getting more out of the wireless network.

3.1.2.2.5 Direct and fund sales & marketing efforts.

3.1.2.2.6 MP to create a Technical Support CD that is sent to all new subscribers and
contains the following freeware features (if available).

• Anti-Spam software
• Anti-Virus software
• Pop-up Blocker
• Spyware/Adware Blocker
• Parental controls
• Desktop firewall
• Intuitive web-based set-up instructions with pictures
• Video with voice-over set-up instruction
• Remote Support and Configuration

3.1.2.2.7 Perform monthly billing.

3.1.2.2.7.1 Issue monthly billing in format approved by Austin Utilities.

3.1.2.2.7.2 Report uncollectible subscriber fees (bad debt).

3.1.2.2.7.3 Collect subscriber fees.

3.1.2.2.7.4 Deposit funds in destination approved by Austin Utilities.

3.1.2.2.7.5 Support credit card and Automatic Clearing House (ACH) transactions.

3.1.2.2.8 Provide Help Desk (8AM to 8PM M-F, 10AM to 2PM Sat.), including physical
operating space. Customer service representatives are to respond to calls with
greetings selected by Austin Utilities. Internal benchmarks to include average two
minute TTA (Time to Answer) and average fifteen minute TTR (Time to Resolution). MP
is to provide Austin Utilities with daily, weekly and monthly call statistics reports on a
monthly basis. Austin Utilities shall also have access real-time reports via a secure web
interface.

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3.1.2.2.8.1 The Help Desk staff shall be staffed sufficiently to provide the required Help
Desk Support.

3.1.2.2.8.2 The majority of Help Desk Calls shall be answered in less than 2 minutes.
Records and software will be available for Austin Utilities to monitor actual performance.
3.1.2.2.8.3 Randomly Applied Help Desk Performance Survey: This survey may be
delivered through web-based technology or electronic mail. Performance criteria must
be clearly defined in these surveys in order to permit analysis of quality and timeliness
of service. The results of these surveys must be reported once each quarter. The
originating subscriber survey data should be kept for a minimum of six months from its
receipt and must be available to Austin Utilities upon request. The user survey will
collect, at a minimum, the name of the agent, ticket number, area for narrative free form
text entry by user, and the answers to the ratings on the following kinds of topics:

• Courtesy and professionalism demonstrated by Help Desk staff


• Technical knowledge demonstrated by Help Desk staff
• Problem solving skills demonstrated by Help Desk staff
• Keeping user informed of the progress/resolution of ticket
• Overall satisfaction of the service provided by the Help Desk staff

3.1.2.2.9 Provide Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 support. 75% of Help Desk calls will be
successfully resolved by Tier 1 support as measured starting upon a mutually agreed
number of days after system acceptance by Austin Utilities.

3.1.2.2.9.1 Assistance for Macintosh users for operating systems still actively supported
by manufacturer.

3.1.2.2.9.2 Assistance for Windows users for operating systems still actively supported
by manufacturer.

3.1.2.2.9.3 Support for Linux users.

3.1.2.2.9.3.1 For Linux support allow for auto referral to Tier 2.

3.1.2.2.9.4 Good faith efforts to support older versions of the software will be made.

3.1.2.2.11 Supply, set-up and program the CPE.

3.1.2.2.12 Conduct & schedule professional installations.


3.1.2.2.12.1 Supply subscriber hardware and antennas for installations.

3.1.2.2.12.2 MP may charge subscriber a "competitive" installation fee if required


(ideally $100 or less), Austin Utilities approval of proposed fees is required.

3.1.2.2.13 Free email transfer and forwarding up to 30 days after transfer from most
other service providers. Subject to availability of access to prior provider system.

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3.1.2.3 Perform Network Operations.

3.1.2.3.1 Operate & maintain wireless network including fiber media converters.

3.1.2.3.2 Provide required wireless network firmware upgrades.

3.1.2.3.3 Maintain core network (routers & switches and authentication server).

3.1.2.3.4 Monitor and maintain Internet connection.

3.1.2.3.6 Monitor wireless and fiber network.

3.1.2.3.7 Document all repairs and replacements to the wireless network during and
after the warranty in a logbook, a copy of which is updated and provided to Austin
Utilities.

3.1.3 Austin Utility Responsibilities

Austin Utilities retains the right to set policies, approve pricing in a timely manner, and
maintain ownership of the subscriber, subscriber databases and records, the specified
domain name, and all other intellectual property. Austin Utilities is responsible to fund all
network hardware costs (excluding the CPE and other customer premises costs) to
implement the wireless and fiber network. Austin Utilities is responsible for maintaining
the physical fiber network including locates, repairing cuts, and other damage to the
fiber cable. Additionally, Austin Utilities shall be responsible for the following:

3.1.3.1 Network Ownership

3.1.3.1.1 Own & finance all wireless and fiber network equipment including spares
(excluding CPE and hardware for premises installation).

3.1.3.1.2 Provide required network financing.

3.1.3.1.2.1 Finance network implementation.

3.1.3.1.2.2 Finance network upgrades.

3.1.3.1.2.3 Pay for vendor maintenance contracts for the network.

3.1.3.1.3 Provide core network (routers & switches).

3.1.3.1.4 Provide physical space and support infrastructure (electrical power, climate
control, physical security, etc.) as required to house central network components
(switches, routers, and servers);

3.1.3.1.5 Provide fiber repair & maintenance (locates, other).

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3.1.3.1.6 Provide access to facilities for required network maintenance.

3.1.3.1.7 Provide material and labor for physical network upgrades, not including items
explicitly identified as the responsibility of the MP or firmware updates.

3.1.3.1.8 Initiate contract for initial installation and activation of the network, including
basic coverage testing and performance verification.

3.1.3.2 Other Facilities.

3.1.3.2.1 Provide access to Austin Utilities mounting assets

3.1.3.2.2 Provide access to City of Austin mounting assets.

3.1.3.3 Maintain Ownership of Subscriber.

3.1.3.3.1 Provide community brand image service will be marketed as an Austin


Utility endorsed service.

3.1.3.3.2 Monitor subscriber satisfaction.

3.1.3.3.3 Maintain subscriber "hot-line" to monitor customer satisfaction performance.

3.1.3.3.4 Monitor feedback regarding MP performance.

3.1.3.3.5 Maintain ownership of domain names used for the Austin Utilities service
offering.

3.1.3.3.6 Austin Utilities shall be responsible for any Austin Utilities mandated
adjustments (write-offs) to accounts.
3.1.3.4 Set Policies.

3.1.3.4.1 Set operating policy. (Acceptable Use Policy, Privacy Policy, Service
Agreement, other)

3.1.3.4.2 Approve service offerings & prices

3.1.3.4.3 Approve all marketing and promotion activities on a timely basis

3.1.3.4.4 Set policy for potential advertising and sponsorship revenues (i.e. Yahoo
& others)

3.1.3.4.5 Advertising revenue (different than value added services) - Austin Utilities
retains net revenue.

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3.1.3.4.5.1 Net revenue determined by gross revenues less mutually agreed upon MP
incremental costs.

3.1.3.5 Provide Specified Support to Management Partner.

3.1.3.5.1 Utilities Commission shall appoint a person to act as Austin Utilities


representative with respect to the work to be performed under agreements developed
from the response to this RFP. He or she shall have complete authority to transmit
instructions, receive information, interpret, and define Austin Utilities policy and
decisions, with respect to the materials, equipment, elements, and systems pertinent to
the work proposed.

3.1.3.5.2 Support marketing efforts via existing communication mechanisms.

3.1.3.5.3 Monitor financial performance, including reports as required by Austin Utilities.

3.1.3.5.4 Manage demarcation between Austin Utilities & MP, which allows replacement
of management partner if required.

3.1.3.5.5 Sponsor educational workshops.

3.1.4 Subscriber Pricing and Compensation for Services.


Austin Utilities has set the initial subscriber pricing per month as follows.

• $19.99 Dial-Up Buster (128 Kbps upload and download)


• $24.99 Basic Broadband (1 Mbps upload and download)
• $34.99 Deluxe Broadband (2.5 - 3 Mbps upload and download)

The initial pricing and revenue sharing for other connectivity services delivered via the
wireless network are to be established by Austin Utilities Commission. If Austin Utilities
reduces the subscriber pricing lower than the initial pricing, an equal reduction in the
amount remitted to Austin Utilities by MP shall be made. If Austin Utilities increases the
subscriber pricing above the initial pricing, an equal increase in the amount remitted to
Austin Utilities by MP shall be made. MP shall propose a per-month per subscriber fee
to be paid to Austin Utilities. MP shall retain all connectivity services revenue in excess
of the proposed per month per subscriber, including revenues for additional services
such as VPN’s, static IP’s, VoIP, and other. Subscribers have the option of purchasing
the CPE. The purchase price is to be determined by Austin Utilities and the MP and
may vary depending upon model and performance required to meet different subscriber
needs. MFH’s and businesses not connected via the wireless network will be dealt with
on a case-by-case base in terms of equipment investments and revenue sharing.
Any net advertising or sponsorship revenue is Austin Utilities. MP will be reimbursed
based upon mutually agreed incremental expenses, if any, required to support the
selected advertising.

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3.2 Partnership Proposals
Each partnership proposal is to provide details on their proposed services, potential
contract terms, partnership terms and fees. The quoted fees are to be based upon
monthly per subscriber. We have included a response form to be completed. Please
use the supplied form (Appendix C) and follow the instructions provided in Section 4.4 in
preparation of your response.

3.3 Partnership Preferences


Preferences will be given to respondents that.

• Locate the operations, maintenance, support, and technical staff in a facility in


• Austin.
• Bring at least 5 years experience in operating and maintaining an ISP.
o Preference given to an ISP with experience in providing services in Austin.
o Prior billing and billing dispute resolution required.
• Support Austin Utilities and City of Austin’s consideration of a digital inclusion
program.
o Details of plan are under development.
o Anticipate management partner to assist in training and education
seminars and courses.

4. Response Submittal Instructions

4.1 Filing of Proposals


Respondents are to submit in a sealed package three (3) paper responses and an
electronic version (pdf or word format) to:

Kim Duncomb
Support Services Director
Austin Utilities
400 4th Street Northeast
Austin, MN 55912
507.437.0820
kimd@austinutilities.com

In addition, submit one electronic version (pdf or word format) directly to:
Jay Gustafson
First Mile Broadband
763.792.2093 x101
Jay@FirstMileBroadband.com

All responses should be clearly marked “Proposal for Austin Utilities Wireless
Broadband Network Management Partners". All responses are to be received by Austin
Utilities prior to 1:00 PM on, Monday, Aug. 23, 2010.

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Proposals received after 1:00 PM, Mon, Aug. 23, 2010, will not be considered. It will be
the sole responsibility of the respondent to have their responses delivered to Austin
Utilities before the closing hour and date. All costs for preparation and submittal of the
proposals are the responsibility of each respondent.

4.2 Questions
Please email any questions you may have to Jay Gustafson at the email listed above.
We will attempt to respond to all questions within 2 business days.

4.3 Proprietary Information


Any proprietary information contained in the response should be so indicated.

4.4 Respondent Qualifications and Experience


The response form and questions are presented in Appendix C. Each respondent is to
provide the following information in their proposals:

1. Company Overview (no more than 2 pages)


2. Statement of Respondents Understanding of Responsibilities
3. Cost Proposal (monthly fee per subscriber, per managed device, and any misc. fees)
and Terms. Cost should NOT include Internet bandwidth. If the respondent wishes to
bid for Internet connectivity to Austin Utilities, it should provide a separate price quote
from this RFP.
4. Responses to Questions (Appendix C)
5. References
6. Staff Qualifications and Experience
7. Audited Financial Statement for Organization (2009)

Each respondent is asked to email Jay Gustafson their intent to respond by Aug 18,
2010.

4.5 Schedule
The following is the schedule of events listed in the order of occurrence, showing the
major milestones from issuance of the RFP to the contract award:

Milestone Dates:
• Publish RFP for Partnerships – July 30, 2010
• Publish RFP First Notice – Aug. 3, 2010
• Publish RFP Second Notice – Aug. 10, 2010
• Intent to Propose Email Due- Aug. 18, 2010
• Close Vendor Questions for Partnership Proposals – Aug. 18, 2010
• Receive Partnership Proposal Responses – Aug. 23, 2010
• Recommend Preferred Partnerships to Utilities Commission – Aug. 30, 2010
• Select Preferred Management Partner- Sept. 1, 2010
• Complete System Conversion & Integration – September 29, 2010

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Austin Utilities reserves the right to change the schedule of events, as it deems
necessary. In the event of a major date change, Austin Utilities will notify all known
respondents.

4.6 Presentations and Site Visits


All presentations and site-visits conducted in Austin will be the responsibility of the
responder. After receipt of the proposals, Austin Utilities may request presentations of
the respondent’s proposal response. Austin Utilities may also request visits to existing
respondent installations.

4.7 Austin Utilities Contact


Austin Utilities has designated Kim Duncomb to be responsible for coordinating
communications between Austin Utilities and the respondents.

4.8 Rejection of Proposals


Proposals may be rejected if they are deemed not in the best interest of Austin Utilities
or the Austin community.

4.9 Austin Utilities Vendor Selection


Following Austin Utilities review of the responses, they may:
• Select a vendor based upon the responses– then negotiate the price, scope, and
functionality with selected vendor,
• Seek other solutions, or
• Defer or cancel RFP.

Although Austin Utilities desires to have a lead partner, partial responses will be
accepted and considered.

4.10 Escalation
If any price quoted is subject to escalation, the terms must be clearly stated.

4.11 Patents
The respondent must guarantee to insure Austin Utilities against any possible loss or
expense by reasons of adverse claims under patents upon the use of the material
proposed on. The successful respondent must agree that Austin Utilities shall not be
disturbed in the use of such material by litigation based upon such adverse claims, and
to that end, the successful respondent must agree to defend, at his own expense, any
and all suits or proceedings that be instituted against Austin Utilities for the infringement
or alleged infringement of any patents by the use of any said material, providing that
such infringement shall consist in the use by Austin Utilities, in the regular course of
operation, of said materials or parts thereof, provided Austin Utilities be not in default in
its payments, therefore, and gives to the successful respondent immediate notice in
writing of the successful respondent to do so.

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4.12 Information to Accompany Proposal
The respondent must submit complete information concerning the services being
proposed on.

4.13 Minor Irregularities


Austin Utilities reserves the right to waive minor irregularities or minor errors in any
proposal, if it appears to Austin Utilities that such irregularities or errors were made
through inadvertence. Any such irregularities or errors so waived must be corrected on
the Form of Proposal in which they occur prior to the acceptance by Austin Utilities.

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APPENDIX A

Demarcation Points

Fiber Gateway Locations

• SMIG - 801 16th Ave NE


• Summner Elementary School - 805 8th Ave. NW
• Westcott Field Water Tower - 1300 West Oakland Ave
• Austin High School - 301 3rd St NW
• Banfield Elementary School - 301 17th St SW
• Austin Utilites SW Substation - 31st ST SW / 5th Ave SW
• Southgate Elementary School - 1601 19th AVE SW
• Woodson school - 1601 4TH ST SE
• Ellis Middle School - 1700 4th Ave SE
• Neveland Elementary School - 1918 Oakland Ave East
• Austin Utilities North Plant - Co Hwy 16 N / 237th st
• Austin Utilities Down Town Plant - 313 2nd AVE NE

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APPENDIX B

Logical Diagram

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APPENDIX C

Bid Form & Questions


Please use the following format to prepare your response. For your convenience, we
have attached an electronic version of Section 3.1.2, Management Partner
Responsibilities.

1. Company Overview (no more than 2 pages)


Please provide a brief overview of your organization. Please emphasize expertise and
benefits that your organization brings to Austin Utilities.

2. Statement of Respondents Understanding of Responsibilities


Please state your compliance or non-compliance of each of the requirements in Section
3.1.2. Also for each requirement please provide a brief statement (1 or 2 sentences) on
how you will approach or comply with the requirement. Please include any proposed
equipment and software you will supply to meet the requirements. If you are proposing
an alternative approach, please describe your approach, your responsibilities, and
Austin Utilities responsibilities.

3. Cost Proposal (monthly fee per subscriber) and Terms


Please provide a quotation based on the parameters outlined in Sections 3.1.4 and
4.10.

4. Responses to Questions
Please provide a brief response to the following questions.
1. How many Internet subscribers do you support today?
i. What type of service is provided? (Dial-Up, wireless, etc)
ii. Where are the subscribers located?
iii. What percentages of subscribers are located in Austin?
iv. What percentages of subscribers are located in Minnesota?
b. What experience do you have in working with Wi-Fi or other wireless service?
c. Where will your proposed Help Desk be located? (City and State)
d. Do you have any existing facilities in Austin, or MN? If so where?
e. Where are you proposing to locate the central network components (severs, routers,
switches, etc.)?
f. We anticipate that converting dial-up customers to wireless is crucial to the success of
the offering.
i. What is your experience in serving dial-up Internet users?
ii. Please describe your approach to sales & marketing of the proposed services.
iii. Please describe your approach in convincing dial-up users to switch to a high-
speed alternative.
iv. Please describe your approach in convincing DSL users to switch to a
wireless alternative.
v. Please describe your approach in convincing cable modem users to switch to
a wireless alternative.

27 
 
g. We estimate that up to 10% of subscribers may require an external installation.
Please describe your approach to ensure customer site visits are conducted efficiently
and that the disruption to the premises is minimized.
h. Please describe your experience with billing and handling billing disputes.
i. Given the Austin market (see Section 1.5, opening of Section 2, and Section
3.1.4), how many subscribers would you anticipate capturing in year 1? In year 2?

5. References
Please provide at least 3 references of organizations that you have performed similar
services, ISP services, or related contracts.

6. Staff Qualifications and Experience


Please list the key staff that will be involved in meeting the RFP requirements. For each
staff person please list relevant experiences, expertise, and where the individual will be
located.

7. Audited Financial Statement for Organization (2009)


Please supply a copy of you latest audited financial statement.
 

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