RFP issued by state to access funding for broadband
In support of the Governor’s Better Kentucky Plan, the Finance and Administration Cabinet issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for $50 million in federal ARPA funds allocated to bring internet access to those who need it most through the Kentucky Broadband Deployment Fund.
The RFP will remain open until Oct. 25, 2021. The Governor and the Kentucky General Assembly agreed to allocate $300 million of the State Fiscal Recovery Fund portion of the ARPA money to expanding broadband. The first $50 million of the broadband deployment funds are available to award by April 2022.
Through this competitive RFP process, the state is soliciting bids from broadband networks owned, operated or affiliated with local governments, nonprofits and cooperatives, as well as private providers with a focus on serving entire communities. Proposals will be accepted until Oct. 25 and will be evaluated based upon the applicants’ ability to meet defined conditions in order to receive funding.
The RFP is available on the state’s vendor self-service portal, which you can access HERE.
Under House Bill 320 and House Bill 382, Kentucky’s Broadband Deployment Fund will assist private sector entities and governmental agencies in the cost of constructing the “last mile” of broadband access to unserved and underserved households and businesses across Kentucky.
The fund includes $300 million earmarked to address the connectivity needs of these communities, including $250 million for the construction of broadband infrastructure to connect unserved and underserved areas – no more than $50 million of which may be awarded before April 1, 2022 – and $50 million for economic development opportunities.
Submitting a Response to the RFP
Until 3:30 p.m. EDT on Oct. 25, 2021, the RFP may be found on the state’s vendor self-service portal.
Providers that have a User ID and password should log on with those credentials. If a provider is not registered to do business with the Commonwealth, they can click on “Guest Access” on the upper left side of the screen.
From there, interested parties should click on the Solicitations tab to see a list of business opportunities available and their status. Use the keyword search field at the top, middle of the page and search by keyword “broadband” or the RFP number “758 2200000038-2021.” By clicking on the Details box and then on the Attachments tab, a provider will be able to access the links to download the solicitation and all of the attachments associated with it.
For assistance with the e-procurement site, contact the Customer Resource Center at Finance.CRCGroup@ky.gov or phone at 502-564-9641 or toll-free 877-973-HELP (4357). The Help Desk is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. EDT.