•  Questions & Responses

    1. Will the District provide the scoring Rubric for this RFP?

      1. Please see the attachment:  NWABSD RFP Evaluation Rubric. NWABSD RFP Evaluation Rubric

    2. Are any buildings connected to each other with conduit or other passageways? If yes, what are the connections between the school buildings in Kotzebue?

      1. Kotzebue Middle High School (KMHS) and June Nelson Elementary School (JNES) in Kotzebue are one building. KMHS/JNES and the NWABSD District Office are connected by fiber conduit.  The District leases fiber to connect the District Office with the Alaska Technical Center (ATC) and ATC with the ATC Dormitory.  No other schools/buildings in our region are connected.

    3. Who currently owns or provides those connections?

      1. GCI owns the fiber connecting the DO, ATC and ATC Dorms. 

    4. List the sites that are served terrestrial and by satellite.

      1. The following NWABSD sites are currently served by terrestrial:

        1. Kotzebue

        2. Buckland

        3. Noorvik

        4. Kiana

        5. Noatak

        6. Selawik

      2. The following NWABSD sites are currently served by satellite:

        1. Shungnak

        2. Kobuk

        3. Ambler

        4. Kivalina

        5. Deering

    5. Does the District have network diagrams including IP addresses that can be provided to assist in


      of the solution?

      1. The NWABSD does not have a network diagram.  The NWABSD expects vendors to provide their best solution and is not pre-determining any specific routes.

    6. Does the District have its own distribution switches at each building?  If so, please describe the switch infrastructure.  If the District does not have its own distribution switches, please describe the number of switch ports required at each building.

      1. The NWABSD has its own Meraki MS320-48FP Layer 3 distribution switches at each building except Kobuk.  Kobuk School has a Cisco 3750 Layer 3 distribution switch.

    7. How many VPN connections will the District require?

      1. The NWABSD does not require any VPN connections.

    8. Are there separate SLA requirements than those stated in the RFP for sites that are not on lit fiber?  If the answer is yes, provide SLA requirements for non-fiber sites.

      1. No.

    9. What is currently being utilized for VTC bridging?

      1. Polycom RMX and DMA 700 are currently used for VTC bridging.

    10. Do you currently use software VTC capability?  If so, please provide names of the applications.

      1. NWABSD currently uses Polycom in our studios/codec stations and Polycom RealPresence as a desktop/laptop solution.

    11. What is the maximum number of simultaneous VTC connections from any 1 site?

      1. The NWABSD currently requires a minimum of two simultaneous connections from any 1 site.  We anticipate needing a maximum of three simultaneous connections.

    12. Can we get a copy of the current VTC schedule for the District?

      1. Please see the attachment:  NWABSD VTC Schedule.  NWABSD VTC Schedule

    13. Are you currently, or at some point in the future, looking to upgrade your VTC hardware?

      1. The NWABSD is currently in the process of updating our VTC codecs.  We are not anticipating upgrading further at this time.

    14. What distance learning systems or applications do you use?

      1. The NWABSD uses Polycom RMX DMA 7000 for our distance learning.

    15. What is the current system providing content filtering and firewall?

      1. Palo Alto Networks-NextGen Security Platform is the current filtering and firewall system.

    16. Do you manage your own filter and firewall or is it managed by your current provider?

      1. The NWABSD partners with our current provider to manage our filter and firewall.

    17. Do you have separate filter rules for each site or is the District managed using a single set of rules?

      1. Each NWABSD has its own separate filter rules, however, there is a “Global Allow/Deny” list to apply to all sites.

    18. Does the District utilize software update servers and/or caching servers at school sites?

      1. The NWABSD uses Windows Server Update Services and Apple Update and Caching Servers to perform software updates.

    19. Does the District require co-location space at a provider facility?  If so, will the District provide a list of the equipment needs?

      1. The NWABSD does not require co-location space at a provider facility.

    20. The NWABSD RFP, page 4 states "the provider will make all reasonable efforts to ensure 99.99% network availability on each circuit".  However, this statement does not specify the measurement period for performance evaluation. Telecommunication Industry standard availability measurements are based on outages averaged over a period of 1 month; a single 5-minute outage would exceed this availability target. We understand that in order to meet this availability target, diverse facilities are required.  We also would like clarification on the following questions


      a Force Majeure or other event that caused an outage, what is the maximum time NWABSD would accept before services must be restored on backup services?

      1. If, as a result of the Force Majeure conditions, service has not been restored within 30 days, the NWABSD should have the option to terminate the agreement.

      2. The understanding is that a Force Majeure is a rare and unpredictable occurrence.  A vast majority of service outages do not fall under this category and therefore service, at minimum a backup service, is expected to be restored within 24 hours.

    21. What amount of time after such an event does NWABSD require services be restored to primary facilities?

      1. Services should be restored to primary facilities within 10 business days (school/instructional days).

    22. What type of documentation or demonstration of backup and restoral are required in proposal responses, (e.g. details of restoral procedures, details of restoral facilities,


      of services (bandwidth) provided during restoral?)

      1. Notification of all unscheduled interruptions of service that exceed 15 minutes in any single occurrence

      2. Notification


        situational changes on progress and resolutions for restoring service until service has been restored to a backup; daily notification on current status until service has been restored to the primary service 

    23. The NWABSD RFP, on page 4, provides a service measurement of “25ms network latency commitment". Latency defined is the delay measured between two points. For


      links latency is typically measured between the service delivery location (school) and a common Internet Exchange location such as the Seattle Internet Exchange. For WAN circuits, measurement is from A location to Z location (School to the District Office). 

    24. To ensure that all bidders provide comparable data, is it required that latency values be provided between each service location and the Seattle Internet Exchange?

      1. Yes

    25. To ensure that all bidders provide comparable data for the WAN circuits, is it required that latency values be provided between each service location and Kotzebue District Office?

      1. Yes

    26. What documentation is required with proposal responses to validate these latency commitments?

      1. The response to the following section of the RFP will be used to validate latency commitments:  Page 4, “The respondent must submit or reference a minimum of four prior projects with enough detail to demonstrate ability to design for this service and provide 3 references from current or recent customers (preferably K-12) with projects equivalent to the size of Northwest Arctic Borough School District.”

    27. Is this latency value for the Internet and WAN circuits to be measured one-way or round-trip from each site?

      1. Round-Trip

    28. NWABSD RFP, Page 5, "Proposal Evaluations and Selections Process", states, “NWABSD will only accept and evaluate proposals that meet the requirements listed in this document.  Any proposal that cannot meet these requirements will be considered non-responsive.”   On Page 4, under the section titled, "Service Level Agreement" specific metric values have been provided.

    29. Are the Service Level Agreement (SLA) metrics provided on Page 4 preferred values for proposal response?

      1. The following SLA metrics provided in the NWABSD RFP refer to lit fiber metrics and reflects the NWABSD goal for lit fiber. 

        1. Service Level Agreement:

          1. The respondent will provide a proposed Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the RFP response. The proposal must include a description of the following services and how these services will be measured.

            1. Fiber Network Availability: the provider will make all reasonable efforts to ensure 99.99% network availability of each circuit.

            2. .25% frame/packet loss commitment

            3. 25ms network latency commitment

            4. 10ms network jitter commitment

            5. There is no right of provider to limit or throttle the capacity of the circuit at any time for any reason

    30. Would service offerings with other SLA metric values be deemed responsive in the proposal?

      1. The goal of the NWABSD is to reach these metrics through fiber however it is assumed that other means of internet delivery will not reach these metrics.

    31. In order to provide a response that aligns with your decision criteria, will you please provide your scoring rubric?

      1. Please see the attachment:  NWABSD RFP Evaluation Rubric. NWABSD RFP Evaluation Rubric

    32. The SLA'S do not differentiate between terrestrial and satellite. Are the stated SLAs in the RFP applicable only to data on terrestrial infrastructure?

      1. The stated SLAs in the RFP are applicable for the delivery method specified.  If no method is specified, all methods are applicable.

    33. Please define what origin/destination your RFP's SLAs are based on. As stated in the RFP the SLA is a 25ms network latency commitment. To clarify, our question is where is this to/from and does it exclude Satellite locations?

      1. The goal of the NWABSD is to reach these metrics through fiber however it is assumed that other means of internet delivery will not reach these metrics.

    34. Does NWABSD own any equipment that is satellite only?

      1. No

    35. Regarding VTC, is NWABSD looking for a centrally managed bridge or cloud for all VTC interconnects?

      1. NWABSD is looking for a centrally managed bridge until all sites are on low latency networks and have higher bandwidth allocations.

    36. Please expand on what is meant by "a single WAN" as noted at the bottom of page 2 last paragraph, (“All Kotzebue sites (District Office, KMHS, JNES, ATC, ATC Dorms, STAR Dorms) on a single WAN”).

      1. The entire district is a WAN.

    37. Regarding the Kotzebue components, could NWABSD please provide a drawing? Do vendors responding to the RFP need to provide the WAN?

      1. Upon award, the NWABSD can provide a drawing.

      2. Vendors responding to the RFP must provide WAN services.

    38. Please confirm that the 25ms latency requirement is applicable only to terrestrial services and not applicable to satellite services.

      1. The 25ms latency requirement is applicable only to lit fiber services.

    39. We respectfully request to present our proposal in response to your RFP to you and your staff/committee in person on February 9, 2018.

      1. Vendors seeking to do an in-person presentation at the Bid Opening on February 9, 2018, should pre-register with Amy Eakin prior to January 31, 2018, at 4:30 pm to assure enough time is allotted.  This is not a requirement and bid evaluations will be based on the written submitted bid and not via oral presentations.