The Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify private sector firms that will deliver affordable broadband access to unserved and underserved parts of the state.
Acting on its commitment to achieving the state’s policy goals for rural broadband, DTI will provide a capital grant to one or more qualified respondents as startup funding for the construction and operation of wireless broadband networks. The RFP identifies several target areas that comprise approximately 127,700 homes and businesses in the rural portions of Kent and Sussex counties.
DTI’s innovative funding approach aims to lower some of the common barriers to broadband market entry in rural areas, particularly the capital investment required to begin offering service in areas with low population densities. DTI aims to bolster service availability by building a public-private partnership in which the private sector has the opportunity to enter markets that are not otherwise attractive for investment. In return, the private partner will make pricing and service commitments that further the state’s broadband goals.
DTI seeks bids from potential partners that will commit to developing and maintaining wireless broadband networks for at least seven years, with an option for three one-year extensions. Following the grant period, ownership of the assets will transfer to the private partner(s).
Responses are due to DTI by 2:00 P.M. local time on Thursday, October 8, 2018.
The RFP is available here.