Appalachia Digital Accelerator (Connect Humanity) – Project Delivery & Management Board of Mahoning County Commissioners (BMCC)

Due Date and time: February 21, 2024 at 3:00 p.m.

Communications Restrictions

Please note the following policy concerning communication between Consultants and the BMCC during the announcement and selection process:

During the period between the advertisement and the announcement of the final consultant selection, communication with consultants (or their agents) shall be limited as follows:

Following the RFP Issue Date, Respondents may submit questions regarding this RFP at any time before 1:00 pm Eastern on 2/14/2024 via electronic mail to the following address (the “County Authorized Representative”): Annemarie DeAscentis at

Any individual who would like to receive future updates on this RFP must submit their name, organization, and email address to the County Authorized Representative by such deadline as well. Questions submitted to the Authorized Representative do not create exceptions to the terms and conditions of this RFP.

All questions submitted to, and answers provided by the County Authorized Representative shall be shared on or before 2/15/2024 with those individuals who submitted their name, organization, and email address in accordance with the requirements above. Respondents shall not contact any person who is an employee, officer, elected official, or agent of Mahoning County concerning this RFP, except for the Authorized Representative. The BMCC may disqualify any Respondent who makes such contact.

Project Description

The selected Consultant will engage in the planning and completion of Community connectivity plans to develop The Connectivity Plan by following Connect Humanity guidelines that include 3 main sections: Digital Equity, Infrastructure, and Finance, as is necessary to bring high-speed, affordable internet, devices, digital literacy, and adoption to all residents.

These plans will be prepared and structured to enable Mahoning County to submit Broadband Equity, Access, & Deployment (BEAD)/Digital Equity Act (DEA) applications (or applications to other federal funding programs) where appropriate. Additionally, the Selected Consultant will work to identify gaps in funding where federal funds may be ineligible and will create a plan to identify necessary alternative investment resources.

Scope of Services

The scope of work to be performed by the consultant may include, but is not limited to, the


The County requires assistance in the planning, development, and creation of a Community Connectivity Plan that will eliminate the digital divide in Mahoning County. It will identify and address current infrastructure, affordability, and adoption limitations within Mahoning County.

The selected consultant will ensure the completion of The Connectivity Plan which will contain four main sections: Preliminary Research and Readiness, Digital Equity, Broadband Infrastructure, and Finance.

The scope of work performed by the consultant may include assistance and interaction from various Mahoning County staff, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, local government officials, and others. However, it is the sole responsibility of the consultant to have The Connectivity Plan completed on time.

The Connectivity Plan is to be completed by August 30, 2024, to enable Mahoning County to submit a Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) application (or applications to other federally funded programs). The Connectivity Plan will identify alternative investment resources where necessary. This effort will include, but is not limited to collecting, processing, and analyzing mapping and other sources of data to identify broadband availability and quality of service issues.

1. Manage the project to develop The Connectivity Plan by following Connect Humanity guidelines and meeting all reporting requirements.

2. Create a geographic and demographic profile of Mahoning County using local and stateprovided data. The profile will include current internet adoption and usage data.

3. Develop the County’s vision for digital equity and complete a digital equity asset map through meaningful community engagement. Once barriers to digital equity are identified and solutions recommended, develop strategies and tactics to implement those solutions.

4. Identify gaps in broadband availability by reviewing the Broadband Serviceable Location (BSL) data. Tasks may include, but are not limited to, the following:

a. Perform an initial assessment of current broadband data for Mahoning County, including address points and tables to evaluate the content and structure of the data and identify any deficiencies or changes needed to use the data for the project.

b. Take steps to create a newly revised set of maps of BSL data and work with Broadband Ohio and the FCC in the Challenge Process to ensure accurate data. This includes Analyzing and challenging inaccurate information regarding locations in Mahoning County in the broadband data maps created by the

Federal Communications Commission including but not limited to the classification of locations as unserved or underserved and assisting in all aspects of such challenges, including but not limited to assisting Broadband Ohio in preparing challenges and assisting in the resolution of disputes with broadband service providers.

c. Once the data is accurate, identify geographic areas within the County that need broadband improvement.

5. Develop a high-level logical network design to identify ways to make broadband improvements in the county given BEAD grant objectives.

6. Develop a financial plan to include, but not limited to, the creation of a revenue and cost model, pro forma statements, and a strategy to obtain required funding and resolve any identified funding gaps.

7. Develop an implementation and operational plan to include in the BEAD grant application(s).

8. The Connectivity Plan is expected to be completed by August 30, 2024.

You may also like...