San Francisco seeks 'Partner' for Citywide Fiber Network

The City and County of San Francisco has issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for private sector firms to submit proposals to design, build, finance, operate and maintain a citywide fiber to the premises network, lit fiber and Wi-Fi services project.

Important Submission Deadlines:

March 2, 2018 - Written Questions or Requests for Clarification

March 26, 2018 - Team Submittals


The City is seeking a partner consisting of consortia of firms (“Partner”) to submit qualifications and experience to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain a ubiquitous broadband FTTP network that permits retail service providers (“RSPs”) to lease capacity on the network and provide Wi-Fi service to key areas of the City.

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Through this RFQ, the City is seeking to identify up to three qualified consortia or joint ventures (“Respondent Teams”) to bid on a subsequent RFP to be the City’s Partner for the Project. 

The proposed Project (i.e. an open-access FTTP network) will serve as a platform for multiple RSPs to reach subscribers over a shared infrastructure. RSPs will be able to connect to the network and deliver services to their subscribers. This shared last-mile fiber will reduce the cost for new service providers to enter the market, reduce redundant and costly builds to reach subscribers, and give subscribers more choices for service providers to meet their connectivity needs. The City anticipates that the construction and service agreement will be for a term of 15 years. *Only those teams selected through this RFQ process will be allowed to eligible to bid on the RFP.

The winner of the City Fiber RFP will be required to undertake the following activities:

Fiber-to-the Premises Network:

Design, build, finance (in whole or in part), operate, and maintain a FTTP passive optical network (“PON”) delivering gigabit speed service. This infrastructure includes, without limitation, fiber, optical splitters, feeder loops to remote nodes, distribution fiber, terminals, fiber taps, fiber drop connections, and fiber termination at the premises. The City intends the FTTP physical infrastructure to support any current or future mix of PON, point to point, and/or future technology standard, although the City anticipates that PON equipment will be dominant in early phases.

Lit Fiber Network and Services:

Design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the open access network and services on the FTTP network, including supplying and provisioning network electronics capable of delivering highly-available transport for a variety of services over the fiber. This includes provisioning layer 2 services between subscribers and service providers and providing network monitoring services. Transport services should be capable of gigabit Committed Information Rate. Responsibilities include provisioning Internet access, installing and maintaining network electronics, installing demand-based Customer Premises Equipment (“CPE”), licensing and provisioning of multiple RSPs, selling back haul dark fiber to institutional telephone companies, marketing and promoting the broadband services, and maintaining a user portal to summarize service options. Additionally, the Partner would be responsible for monitoring and maintaining Quality of Service (“QOS”) of all RSPs on the FTTP network. The Partner will ensure that baseline Internet service is available, but will not directly provide Internet services to subscribers (residential, commercial, point-to-point).

Free City Wi-Fi:

Design, build, finance, operate, and maintain a free, managed Wi-Fi network for certain significant City parks (within San Francisco), City buildings, and other significant areas of the City that would benefit from a free Wi-Fi service, such as major thoroughfares and visitor areas.