Request For Proposals: Broadband Consulting Services-Technical Assistance

08 July 2024

The Eastgate Regional Council of Governments is seeking to retain the services of a consultant to provide Broadband Technical Assistance for the three-county region (Ashtabula, Mahoning, Trumbull). A selection committee will then review the proposals and select from those bids the best proposal.

The selected consultant will then be commissioned to provide Broadband Technical Assistance with a focus on implementing ongoing projects, assisting with new project development, and addressing the remaining unserved/underserved communities within the region. Eastgate, along with its partners from Ashtabula, Mahoning, and Trumbull counties, will work in tandem with the consultant to ensure that these services are carried out during the contract period.

All questions shall be directed to Economic Development Program Manager, Mark Ragozine, in writing by 2:00 P.M. July 17, 2024. Questions will only be accepted via email at ( No calls will be taken during this process. All comments will be addressed on Eastgate’s website by July 19, 2024

Eastgate will directly select a consultant based on the Letter of Interest (LoI). The requirements for the LoI and the Programmatic Consultant Selection Rating Form that will be used to select the consultant are shown in the full listing.

Firms interested in being considered for selection should respond by submitting an electronic proposal via email to the below authorized representative by 2:00 PM on July 31st.

Read the Full RFP

Q & A for Broadband Consulting Services

  1. Question: What is the contractual method for this - your contract or would it be the chosen consultants' contract?

Answer: $6,800 per month for consulting services. Thus, if the selected consultant would start in August, running through next December, that total would amount to $102,400.

  1. Question: After reading Exhibit 1, item 1, second sentence where you state; “The rankings and scores should be based on each project manager’s experience on similar projects and past performance for the Eastgate and the three-county region”, we have opted not to respond your RFP because it appears that ERCG already has a particular consultant in mind

Answer: Yes, that is part of the scoring to have familiarity with our region and the counties/communities we work with, but I wouldn’t necessarily take that as precluding your organization from applying. We never have a particular consultant/firm in mind, it is our policy to review every proposal for merit and based upon how the consultant/firm responds.

  1. Question: Can you provide more details on the types of regional projects considered significant and competitive for local, state, and federal funding?

Answer: When we talk about this, we are talking about the gaps in broadband coverage that remain in our three-county area. Should a project arise or develop and be competitive for funding opportunities, we would like the consultant to assist with pursuing it.

  1. Question: What are the specific requirements or benchmarks for aligning with BroadbandOhio's Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) programs?

Answer: We do not have any specific requirements or benchmarks. BroadbandOhio is finalizing its plans for BEAD and awaiting acceptance from NTIA. When the state begins to roll out funding programs under BEAD, Eastgate wants to be aware of and in alignment with these opportunities. This will help to ensure that our region captures its fair share of BEAD funding dollars.

  1. Question: Are there any anticipated challenges or obstacles that the consultant should be prepared to address when providing technical assistance?

Answer: We do not anticipate any challenges. We are seeking the expertise of a consultant/firm with familiarity of the broadband industry.

  1. Question: Can you clarify the weighting of subfactors in the differential scoring for project managers and staff experience?

Answer: This is a standard scoring methodology that we rely on when reviewing consultant proposals.

  1. Question: Are there any particular areas where you are seeking innovation or creative solutions from the consultant?

Answer: There are no specific areas where we are requiring innovation.

  1. Question: Are there any established communication protocols or collaboration tools the consultant should use when working with Eastgate and its partners?

Answer: There is no established protocol.


  1. Question: Is a cover page allowed outside of the 10-page limit for items 1 and 2?

Answer: Yes, a cover page is allowed.


  1. Question: Can you provide further clarification regarding the potential Prequalification requirement for “Engineering and/or project design or cost estimating experience” and what tasks may be involved?


Answer: We included this as a potential prequalification requirement because it would be a plus if the firm had this capability but would not preclude you from applying. In this example, it is helpful that the selected consultant would understand project design and cost estimating as we have ongoing and likely future projects where guidance from the consultant will be helpful.

  1. Question: Could you confirm if prior involvement in the feasibility study would impact the eligibility to propose on this project?


Answer: Prior involvement in the feasibility study will not impact proposal submission eligibility.


  1. Question: What is the funding source for this project?


Answer: The funding source for this project is additional funding from our county partners (Ashtabula, Mahoning, and Trumbull). It is either the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) or General Fund money.

  1. Question: Does the Eastgate Regional Council expect to endorse any of the ISPs in bidding on project service areas?


Answer: Eastgate will not favor one provider over another in project areas. We encourage all providers to further deploy resources into our region. If it is a project that we have funded to complete, it will be competitively bid through an RFP process.