The City of Victoria is seeking proposals for a broadband improvement program that will lead to faster and more affordable internet in Victoria and potentially the surrounding Golden Crescent region.
The request for proposals was developed by the Victoria Broadband Commission, a City-led group of local stakeholders in the fields of government, health care, economic development and education who are working to expand internet access by seeking solutions that will meet the needs of diverse sectors.
“Attracting internet providers is a challenge in rural areas, so we need to work proactively to improve the quality of internet service in our region,” said Assistant City Manager Darrek Ferrell. “Partnering with a third-party developer will be an important step toward improving our infrastructure and bringing internet access to more households, businesses and organizations.”
The first phase of the program will address Victoria’s existing capacity for connectivity. According to 2018 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 30% of Victoria households do not have a broadband subscription. The program developer will identify factors that contribute to this low rate of internet adoption and will evaluate existing infrastructure for gaps in service availability.
Second, the developer will conduct an enhanced network feasibility analysis. This will include a project timeline, technology recommendations and engagement of potential service providers in order to create an environment of competition and consumer choice. The proposed network must meet the federal broadband standard of 25 Mbps of download speed and 3 Mbps of upload speed, but preference will be given to developers who can exceed this standard.
Finally, the developer must create an implementation strategy for an enhanced network. This will include identification of funding opportunities and revenue opportunities as well as division of responsibilities between the City and its development partner(s). Developers are encouraged to include a digital literacy component or other solutions to the lack of internet adoption in Victoria. Additionally, preference will be given to responses that include the ability to construct any proposed improvements.
Proposals must be received by 1 p.m. Feb. 18, 2021. To read the full request for proposals and to submit a proposal, visit www.bidnetdirect.com/texas/city-of-victoria. To learn more about the Victoria Broadband Commission, visit www.victoriatx.gov/broadband.