County receives five broadband consulting proposals

The Warren County Commissioners are looking for an outside firm to help tackle the rural broadband question.

The deadline for firms to submit proposals was Monday and the commissioners briefly reviewed the five offerings during Monday’s work session.

“There is a lot of work to be done evaluating each of the proposals,” Commissioner Tricia Durbin said, and identifying “what we’re looking for and what we want a good outcome to be.”

Price seems unlikely to be the deciding factor as the quoted prices are directly relational to the scope of work the firm was offering. Prices ranged from around $80,000 to as high as $940,000.

Proposals were received from Design Nine, Inc. (Blacksburg, Va.), Big Bang Broadband (Tampa, Fl.), Michael Baker International (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Technology Plus, Inc. (Lakewood, Co.) and CTC Technology & Energy (Kensington, Md.).

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston said the evaluation should include following up with the references and the firms themselves.

“The good thing is they’re all reputable companies,” he said. “(There are a) couple of really robust proposals here.”

“Another thing that is important,” Durbin said, was that all have teams with the capacity to implement projects.

She added that they should look to develop some kind of matrix to assess the proposals.

Eggleston said that the request for proposals said that the commissioners would make a selection at the Feb. 8 meeting.

“That date can be moved,” he said. “(It) was just to give them an idea when it would be.”

Officials initially planned to use the lion’s share of its $7.6 million in American Rescue Plan funding on broadband projects but have shifted focus to contracting with a broadband consultant as part of using the funds as match for additional federal dollars.

County officials believe more households can be reached using the county’s funds as a match.


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