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Des Moines, IA -- On Wednesday afternoon, Iowa Communications Network’s governing body, the Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission (ITTC), released the requirements for potential bidders interested in buying or leasing the State’s state-wide fiber optic Network.
The ICN backbone includes an estimated 3,400 miles of state-own fiber and 5,261 miles of leased fiber connections. The State only has authority to sell or lease the state-owned portion of the fiber Network; the leased miles are owned by private telecommunications providers. To comply with the current timeframe, interested bidders will have until April 30 to submit proposals for the Network. Potential bidders will have an opportunity to ask questions at a bidders’ conference to be scheduled within the next two weeks, as well as review information subsequent to that conference. In May, an ICN internal team will evaluate the bids received, and the Commission will generate a report for the governor’s office.
Legislation passed during the 2011 legislative session requires the ITTC to implement a request for proposals (RFP) process for the sale or lease of the ICN. The law requires the condition of the sale or lease to allow existing authorized users of the Network to continue such use at a lower overall long-term cost, when compared to the anticipated operation and maintenance costs if state ownership and control were to continue. The RFP process is scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2013, with final approval by the Legislature and Governor required before any sale or lease occurs.
To ensure an open and transparent process, ICN created an RFP Implementation Team (RIT) in November 2011, to provide advice regarding the specific definitions and assumptions for unidentified aspects of the RFP process. The RIT developed and approved a project plan to address transparency and time sensitive requirements of the legislation.
The ICN is authorized to provide Internet, data, voice, and video services to hospitals, public safety, K-12 schools, higher education, libraries, state and federal government, and Homeland Security under chapter 8D of the Code of Iowa.
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