PITTSBURGH, PA (October 21, 2020) The Department of Innovation & Performance (I&P) announced today that they will be seeking requests for proposals (RFPs) in November 2020 for NetPGH, a comprehensive, unified fiber internet connectivity network for city facilities.
In July 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an order requiring cities to pay for institutional networks provided by cable franchise operators. The City of Pittsburgh has provided internet and network connectivity to its facilities using a variety of technologies and providers, with approximately half of its facilities using institutional networks. Anticipating rising costs from institutional networks combined with Mayor William Peduto’s goal for a resilient tool to connect city government and its residents, I&P is conducting a competitive bidding process for NetPGH to provide a streamlined network and unified experience for city facilities to improve standards of service, delivery, and availability.
The RFP will seek a partner or a private-public partnership to build or lease a high availability fiber network that will sustain service for the city into the future. NetPGH will provide fiber connectivity to all city buildings including fire stations, EMS stations, recreation and healthy active living centers, and public safety infrastructure. Facility upgrades will include wiring to enable NetPGH and will promote efficiency in the delivery of public services.
NetPGH will also help facilitate future plans for critical network use such as creating Smart Corridors by connecting the city’s traffic management system to use high-bandwith technology to prioritize transit vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. NetPGH will also support Mayor Peduto’s digital equity initiatives, like Rec2Tech that provides coding and technology-based education to youth, by providing high-quality internet connectivity at recreation centers and should enable future deployments of public WiFi in the city.
The budgeted amount for the project is $1.5 million per year, which constitutes about 10% of the annual technology budget. The City hopes to find partners that can offer subsidies or additional outside funding to the project. The total investment of a built network is estimated to be above $10 million.
The RFP will be available on the City’s procurement portal, Beacon.