City of Benicia releases RFP for industrial broadband

30 September 2013 by Steve Blum
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Major California long haul fiber routes converge underneath the Benicia bridge, in the northern San Francisco Bay Area.

In July, the Benicia, California city council decided to revitalise a major industrial park and surrounding areas by upgrading broadband infrastructure. Today, the City began the project by releasing a Request for Proposal that asks prospective participants to offer solutions, in terms of both the technology and business model to be used.

As stated in the RFP…

The City of Benicia has earmarked $750,000 for investment in the Project. The City has not specified how this money will be used or what consideration it will receive in return. It is up to each respondent to propose such terms, however the City retains full and final discretion as to the terms it will accept.

The City is asking respondents to address five topics that are key to its objectives…

1. Availability of managed services (e.g. commercial grade DSL, T–1 or OC–3 class circuits with or without Internet connectivity).
2. Availability of unbundled broadband network elements (e.g. dark fiber, wholesale Internet bandwidth, long haul interconnects).
3. Quality of Service (QoS) standards, including reliability, and a sustainable means of guaranteeing those standards over time.
4. Development of a competitive market for broadband services and facilities within the project area, or other means of guaranteeing competitive access and pricing for the long term.
5. Economic sustainability of business and partnership models proposed for the Project area, including particularly ensuring that the Project will continue to operate as intended over time without additional financial contributions from the City.

As noted in the RFP, the council’s decision and the subsequent RFP was based in large measure on a report and presentation I prepared, and a demand study done in 2010 by

There’s a pre-bid meeting scheduled for 21 October 2013, and proposals are due on 14 November 2013. Full details, including all the legal and administrative requirements, are in the RFP. Anyone interested in the project should rely on that document and not on this or any other blog post. I’m a consultant to the City on this project, so I won’t comment beyond what’s in the RFP, except to say that anyone with a potential solution to offer is encouraged to submit a proposal.


Request for Proposal, Benicia Industrial Broadband Project, 30 September 2013

Benicia Industrial Broadband Project Assessment presentation, made to the Benicia City Council by Steve Blum, 2 July 2013

Benicia Industrial Broadband Project Assessment report, prepared by Tellus Venture Associates, 24 June 2013

Benicia City Council minutes, 2 July 2013

Staff report to Benicia City Council, 2 July 2013

Broadband Needs Assessment for the Benicia Industrial Park, prepared by, 15 September 2010

Map of Benicia Industrial Park and surrounding area

Benicia, California is ready to invest in its broadband future, Steve Blum’s Blog, 7 July 2013