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Reservation-wide Wireless Project RFP Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe

Request for Proposal
Reservation-wide Wireless Project
The Information Technology Department
Date of Issuance: September 13, 2023
RFP #: IT-2023-1
Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe

Request for Proposal (RFP)
Wireless Project

Requested by the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe
The Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe’s (SBIT) Information Technology (IT) Department currently
manages a Wi-Fi (802.11x) network throughout all of the Tribal Government buildings. Wireless
Coverage is mostly limited to building interiors, however there is some external wireless
coverage as well. SBIT IT would like to expand Wi-Fi coverage to the entire reservation (and
Tribal lands). The primary goal of this expansion is improved wireless coverage for staff
communication (safety) and productivity (mobile workforce). The secondary goal of this
expansion is general wireless connectivity for visitors (Cell service is very poor).

SBIT IT is piloting a Band 71 (600Mhz) project and we are awaiting licenses for Band 41 (Tribal
Priority – 2500 MHz). Therefore, we would like to have both frequencies included in the design.
Proposals that reflect experience working with Native American tribes with proven abilities in
the areas of wireless infrastructure engineering and construction will be the most competitive.
The successful proposer will demonstrate, on the part of the lead planner, knowledge, and
experience in tribal/local/regional/ and state levels of wireless networking.

The Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe reserves the right to waive any informality in the proposal
process and will award the contract(s) based upon the qualifications and experience of a
Wireless Networking firm that best meets the type of work necessary and that are deemed to
be in the best interest of the tribe.

Schedule of Selection

RFP Released………………………………………………………………………………………………………… September 13, 2023
Deadline to Submit Questions (in writing) …………………….………………………………………….. September 20, 2023
Responses to Questions (in writing) ……………………………………………………… On or before September 22, 2023
Proposals Due…………………………………………………………….………September 27, 2023 by 4:00 pm Pacific Time
Review Proposal Submissions………………………………………………………………………………………. October 2, 2023
Notice of Selection……………………………………………………………………………………………………… October 4, 2023
Anticipated Contract Start Date……………………………………………………………………..……………To Be Determined
Project Completion Date…………………………………………….……………………………………………September 30, 2024
*Dates are subject to change at any time by the Tribe.

Instructions for Submitting Proposals

Proposal Due Date: September 27, 2023 by 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time

1. Submissions by email must be submitted to:
Subject line: SBIT Reservation-Wide Wireless Project 2023 Proposal

2. Submissions of proposals must be mailed to the following address:

Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe
P.O. Box 130
Tokeland, WA 98590

3. Proposals may be hand delivered to the following address:

Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe
2373 Tokeland Rd.
Tokeland, WA 98590

Proposals shall be clearly marked stating:

“SBIT Reservation-wide Wireless Project 2023
Proposal – Do Not Open”

4. For any questions on the bid and requirements, please contact solicitations@shoalwaterbay-nsn.gov by email only. All questions will be placed on and answered on the Tribe’s website.

Questions will be accepted until September 20th, 2023.

Access full solicitation PDF here. 

Wireless Project RFP Q & A

Q: We are working on the response to the above RFP and would like the files per the RFP for the following items: if you could share any existing KMZ files and current design of the
existing systems for both the indoor and outdoor systems it would be appreciated.

A: KMZ file sent to interested bidder

FCC Spectrum

Q: When do you expect your 2.5Ghz B41 license will be approved?

A: No idea. We have been waiting for FCC approval of our application and waiver for over 2 years. We talked with them in the spring and still no update.

Q: Are you working on a waiver to extend beyond tribal boundary to service residence to the south?

A: Our waiver is for the entire Pacific County. If that is denied, it would push back to just Tribal lands (Reservation, Trust, Fee). If that is denied, it would push back to just Reservation. However, the scope of this project is for Tribal Lands only so we would not be looking to expand beyond that.

Q: B41 is a very attractive spectrum. What concepts do you have in leveraging your B71 spectrum? There are limitations on the B71 spectrum.

A: We are doing a trial with Dish Networks and Althea Networks. Dish has provided us with a license area and Althea Networks is providing us with a B71 radio. We are planning to purchase a few devices for testing. I wanted to include it for this project, but it could also be the first part
to go depending on cost to include. The Tribe has significant landholdings. The terrain is very hilly with a lot of trees. B71 penetrates belter than B41, so our intent for using B71 spectrum would be to provide coverage to the areas that B41 or 802.11x would not cover.

WIFI Exterior

Q: What are the locations of the current 9 exterior WIFI locations?

A: The current exterior WIFI locations are centered around main campus including Tribal Center, Education Building, IT Building, Social Services, and Wellness Center. There are also exterior WAPs at our Eagle Hill MPB.

Q: Can we get the wireless coverage map? A KMZ file that shows government buildings, Tribal neighborhoods, existing fiber, and (old) mesh poles are available upon request.

A: Kmz files are attached to the email.

Q: What was the use case for your old Mesh network?

A: Police. Cell service is spotty at best, so mesh was added to improve their internet service.

Q: If we propose a simplified approach to connecting the residence, business and government buildings that do not require external WIFI is that acceptable?

A: If it is something completely different that won’t integrate with our current system, I would hesitate to accept.

Q: Would you like to continue to use Ruckus for your expansion or replace with new products?

A: We would prefer to use Ruckus so that we do not have to manage two systems. However, mesh equipment could be different since that would be more configure and ignore.

Q: Does the WIF only service within the Tribal Boundary or extending south along Tokeland Rd Tokeland Marina?

A: We currently have SM fiber that extends to our Blackberry neighborhood. That would be the end of the line.

Q: Is the intent of this RFP to provide every tribal residence internet access within their home?

A: As the RFP indicates, the primary goal is improved wireless coverage for staff communication and productivity. The secondary goal is general wireless connectivity for visitors.

WIFI Interior

Q: Does the RFP also consider the need to enhance the indoor WIFI network already deployed?

A:  The indoor wireless does not need to be improved or expanded.

Q: If yes, what is the limitation of the currently deployed network and where are enhancements required.

A: N/A


Q: What is the timeline of when you would like this project to be deployed and operational?

A: As the RFP indicates, Project completion date is 9/30/24.

Q: Is this project funded by the Capital Projects Fund or the NTIA Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program?

A: Funded by Treasury CPF.

Q: Do you foresee the need for an NTIA Environmental Assessment?

A: I believe there might be an environmental assessment requirement for CPF, however, there should be no groundwork, so that should be minimal.

Q: Due to the amount of engineering work needed to assess the current deployment and expansion needs could we request and extension allow properly due diligence?

A: No, if requesting additional time to submit the RFP. The deadline for the project will ultimately be decided by CPF spending deadline so there would be some flexibility if that is later than 9/30/24.

Q: Is this RFP strictly for design, design build, or is it design bid build?

A: Hopefully I will be able to answer your question adequately. The short answer is, we are asking for a design build. We received the CPF from Treasury. We decided to use these funds to improve/expand our current wireless (802.11x) infrastructure. The primary goal is to improve communications and productivity of our staff.

The secondary goal is to provide general WiFI connectivity to anyone on the reservation. As stated in the RFP, our current wireless infrastructure consists of Ruckus WAPs that provides excellent coverage in our government buildings (and the area around the main campus – Tribal Center, Education, Court, Social Services, IT, Housing, and Wellness Center). There are other areas on the reservation (which is quite small – less than a square mile) or other Tribal lands (Fee/Trust) that do not have good exterior coverage. That is where the non functional police mesh could be used (will need new equipment and power via solar/batteries). The band 41 and band 71 are additional considerations. For band 41, we are still waiting on our licenses (applied for a waiver which is still in review).

And since we were awarded the NTIA TBCP, which includes CPEs for our tribal households, the client side of 2.5GHz doesn’t need to be addressed with this project (only the radios). For band 71, we are doing a pilot with Dish Networks and Althea Networks. We were given an area by Dish to operate in and Althea is giving us 1 radio. This is going to primarily be used for testing, but again, if we could include
additional radios, that would be good for future development. The Tribe has purchased a significant amount of land uphill that is rugged and tree covered and band 71 might work better than band 41 there.

KMZ Files sent to interested bidder

Q: Can you confirm if an extension can be granted for the submission of our response? After talking with the team this morning (9/21/23) if an extension is unable to be granted we will not respond
to the RFP.

A: Please see attached Addendum No. 1 for the RFP Reservation-wide Wireless Project for the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe. Please include this Addendum with the existing RFP documents. This Addendum extends the dates under the Schedule of Selection in the RFP documents.

Q: Do you have a list of preferred contractors that you would like us to work with?

A: None for installation. If groundwork were required, Mike Duman at Barret Utilities has done most of our trenchwork for fiber installations. We have used ATSG (formerly Vology) for our Ruckus gear.

Q: Internet Access Targets: Can you provide details on the number of households you aim to provide internet access to?

A: There are approximately 50 households that could receive service. We were awarded the NTIA TBCP grant that will address connectivity to those households (including both radios and CPEs). With expansion uphill happening in the next 3-5 years, more coverage will be needed,
but as this is all new construction, I would anticipate completing FTTH to all locations uphill.

Q: Connected Devices: What types of devices are you planning to connect to the network?

A: Mobile devices (cell phones, tablets, laptops), surveillance (cameras – NVR/Camera system on Tsunami tower).

Q: Throughput Requirements: What are the expected throughput requirements for this project?

A: For WiFi – Current gear is 802.11ax, so would want to have that. For Band 41 or Band 71 100/20 (to meet (future) requirements of grant programs).

Q: Voice and Data Services: Are you looking to implement a full voice/911 system, or is data-only connectivity sufficient for your needs?

A: Data only.

Existing Infrastructure Questions

Location and Deployment

Q: Outdoor T350 WAPs: Where are the 9x outdoor T350 WAP’s APs located in the current infrastructure?

A: 6 of the T350 WAPs are located on the main campus (Tribal Center, Education, Social Services, IT, and Wellness Center. This provides decent coverage of the parking lot and areas around these buildings. The other 3 are at the Eagle Hill MPB location (this is our
evacuation/emergency management building, so I put extra up there to handle potential increased traffic during emergency).

Q: Wireless Deployments: Are there any other wireless deployments relevant to reservation coverage outside of these APs?

A: None, other than the old police mesh that was described in the RFP. It consisted of 4 poles (solar, batteries, inverter, controller), mesh equipment, and WAP. There were additional units connected directly to buildings. We would like to utilize the poles but the equipment on them
will probably need to be replaced. There is fiber to every building (except the NR complex, which is getting fiber via the NTIA TBCP grant) so we would anticipate utilizing buildings as well.

Q: Fiber-Optic Handoff: What is the fiber-optic handoff method used at the old mesh poles?

A: 3 of the 4 poles did not have Fiber handoff. 4th pole had SM fiber from Gym.

Q: Solar Array Specifications: What are the voltage and wattage specifications of the solar arrays at the old mesh poles?

A: I am not sure. I would anticipate the solar arrays would need to be replaced (definitely batteries, controller, and inverter).

Gym Tower Questions

Note this is a 60-80ft pole and not a tower*.

Site Details

Q: On-Ground Photography: Can we obtain on-ground photography of the Gym Tower site?

A: Attached to email.

Q: Power and Enclosure: What are the power and enclosure details for the Gym Tower’s telecommunications equipment?

A: Tied to building. Runs into IDF.

Q: Access Methods: What methods are available for accessing the Gym Tower?

A: Not sure what you are asking. Pole is located directly next to the gym. A list has been used to mount equipment.

Q: Equipment Inventory: What equipment is currently deployed at the Gym Tower site?

A: Microwave connection to Pacifica County PUD, JNET is ISP. This is our secondary internet connection and is used for all untrusted traffic (and as failover if primary circuit fails). Ruckus P300 wireless bridge. This is to Natural Resources Complex (mentioned in q7). This will be
removed once fiber is run to NR complex.

Tsunami Tower Questions
Site Details

Q: On-Ground Photography: Could we also receive on-ground photography for the Tsunami Tower site?

A: Atached to email.

Q: Power and Telecom Infrastructure: What are the details regarding power availability at the Tsunami Tower site, and is there any existing telecommunications infrastructure present?

A: A/C power to tower. No connectivity. Old police mesh pole (that SM fiber runs to from gym– q8) is across the street w/line of sight. Anticipate using that for connectivity.

Additional Questions
Residential Broadband

Q: Geographic Requirements: Do these applications, such as Residential Broadband, Forestry Worker Connectivity, Tribal operations/staff/vehicle connectivity, and Security/CCTV, have any specific geographic requirements?

A:  Terrain is very hilly with a lot of tree coverage.

Q: Current Service Provider: Who is the current residential broadband service provider, and what are people paying for their Internet?

A: Comcast is the primary service provider. Maybe Ziply fiber has a few DSL customers and Starlink might have a few as well. Prices would be based on plan. I do not have data on this.

Q: Existing Wi-Fi Network: What is the existing Wi-Fi network used for today, and what problems are being experienced with the network?

A: There are 3 WLANS. The Private network is for tribally owned devices that are not mobile (like wireless printers). The staff network is being used for staff communication (email, wifi
calling) and productivity (O365 and Apps). The public network is for general connectivity for guests and patrons of clinic and library. Connectivity in buildings is excellent. Connectivity
outside is good near T350s, but once you move away, coverage is limited (cell service is spotty at best).

Q: Original Goal/Purpose: What was the original goal or purpose for the Mesh Pole network?

A: This was dedicated to the Police department and their operations.



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