Proposals requested for library Internet project

Josephine Community Library District is taking the first step toward increasing high-speed broadband Internet throughout Josephine County, especially in the rural areas of Illinois Valley and Wolf Creek. The district is seeking proposals from vendors to carry out what the district calls the “Internet Infrastructure Project” expected to start after June 2019.

The library district, in partnership with Sunny Wolf Charter School, intends to seek financial support for the project through a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program which seeks to ensure that libraries and schools can obtain high-speed Internet access at affordable rates.

“Because Sunny Wolf Charter School has the same Internet requirements as the Wolf Creek branch library, we’re jointly seeking out and evaluating vendors for this project,” said Library Director Kate Lasky. “By working together, we’re sharing resources and saving taxpayer dollars.”

The FCC administers the Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries (commonly referred to as “E-rate”). Through E-rate, the library district — as well as Sunny Wolf Charter School — is eligible for a 90 percent discount on specific Internet access services.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to make such a tremendous difference in our community,” Lasky said. “Having high-speed Internet available is a big deal for our residents who use computers and the Internet at the library. It’s all about equitable access to information, regardless of whether you live in town or out in the country.”

As part of the proposal process, the library district invites qualified service providers to submit proposals for the district’s Internet Infrastructure Project. The Request for Proposals (RFP) document is available on the RFP page of the library district’s website and on the FCC Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) portal. Also on these websites is a request for proposals for related network equipment and other components. This competitive proposal process complies with Oregon Public Contracting Law (ORS 279A).

Questions about the RFP must be emailed by 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday, December 4 to jobs@josephinelibrary.org. Answers will be posted to the two websites by Friday, December 7. Proposing vendors may not communicate with any representatives of the library district or Sunny Wolf Charter School regarding any RFP-related issues other than through the processes outlined in the RFP. Proposals must be submitted by email to Library Director Kate Lasky at jobs@josephinelibrary.org by 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, January 7. Proposal opening will take place at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, January 8 in the Grants Pass branch of Josephine Community Library District, Ben Bones Room, 200 NW C Street, Grants Pass.