CLOSED: Using Technology to Create a Smart City, Request for Ideas

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The City of Philadelphia, a pioneer in innovative technology adoption, aims to create a multi-purpose wireless network that can enhance the City’s ability to deliver quality services to Philadelphians and creatively address digital divide challenges through a revenue sharing, public private partnership model. In addition, the City aims to use technology to improve services and operations, and to this end is interested in ideas related to the Internet of Things (IoT). Interested parties are encouraged to consider opportunities to utilize existing assets outlined in the challenge description to move Philadelphia closer to its goals.

REQUEST FOR IDEAS (RFI)

The City of Philadelphia is interested in determining if the existing assets could be leveraged to better city operations and services. The City seeks information and ideas on any products and technologies that could use these assets as a platform to improve public safety, public infrastructure maintenance, energy efficiency, public space management, transportation and quality of life for the residents and businesses of Philadelphia.

Listed below are some examples of Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities that would enhance the City’s ability to deliver quality services to Philadelphians. Proposed solutions should be designed to allow for adapting, upgrading and integrating additional functionality.  The list is not intended to be exhaustive and responders are encouraged to share additional ideas.

  • Meter Reading: Remote meter-reading that allows information to be collected and forwarded to the Water Department for billing purposes
  • Street Lighting Controls: Dynamic lighting systems that can be controlled remotely, react to citizens, provide valuable data, and/or reduce energy costs
  • Gunshot Detection: Detection devices that can identify a gunshot and send the information to the City’s 911 Center while simultaneously alerting the City’s cameras in the vicinity to focus in on the location
  • Transportation Analytics: Technologies that can detect changes in traffic flows, pedestrian and cyclist activity, and parking availability
  • Infrastructure Monitoring: Detection and monitoring of the City’s critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, airports, water, and power systems
  • Public Safety Surveillance: Additional video surveillance points and cameras, used exclusively for public safety purposes, which police could monitor, especially in high crime areas
  • Free, high-speed public wi-fi: Wi-fi that would support communities of mobile/flexible workers and improve overall lifestyles in the form of greater productivity and services, improved planning and development, collaboration in the digital era, and economic growth
  • Sensor Technology: Combined monitoring with sensor technology that collects data in real time. For example, the City would know when a street has iced over so salt crews can be dispatched

The City seeks submissions that address one, some or all of the capabilities above. Any additional ideas that advance city operations are welcome. The optimal submission would address a number of capabilities with one single solution, and the City is interested in ideas of what can be accomplished in public-private partnerships and entering into revenue sharing agreements with selected vendor(s).  The City is open to piloting solutions in specific areas within the City.

Responses to this RFI will help guide the City in drafting any subsequent Request for Proposals (RFP). However, this RFI does not commit the City to draft and post an RFP or to award any contracts.  This RFI and the process it describes are proprietary to the City and are for the sole and exclusive benefit of the City.  No other party, including any respondent, is intended to be granted any rights under this RFI.  Any response, including written documents and verbal communication, by any respondent to this RFI, shall become the property of the City and may be subject to public disclosure by the City, or any authorized agent of the City.


EXISTING ASSETS

There are 25 tower sites under long term lease with the City located at key access points throughout Philadelphia. The City spends significant funds every year to lease and maintain these tower sites via fiber connection that sits idle. The 25 tower sites were leased as part of a project to provide citywide wi-fi a decade ago, which was unsuccessful for various reasons. Providers interested in using the tower sites will have the opportunity to take over the leases. If the solution requires installation of different equipment at different heights, the leases will have to be renegotiated. See Appendix B for tower sites.

Existing fiber: All of the tower sites are connected through leased fiber, which is terminated at each site. It would be the vendor’s responsibility to initiate new leases.

Public Safety Spectrum: The City has access to public safety spectrum in the 4.9 GHz range for use by public safety applications if the selected vendor can integrate such into the proposal. Primary uses of the 4.9 GHz band are for hot spots, point-to-multi-point, base/mobile/portable operations, broadband permanent fixed point-to-point links, and temporary fixed point-to-point. Communications must be related to the protection of life, health or property. Unattended and continuous operation is permitted. Voice, data and video operations are permitted.

Street light poles The City lighting system is comprised of 105,000 roadway lights; 18,640 alley lights; 5,000 pedestrian scale or ornamental lights; and 400 park lights. A portion of these assets would be available for this project. Selected vendors would have access to both street light pole power supply and the physical infrastructure. This does not include access to wood utility poles.

Right-of-way access to tunnels, water mains, and sewers that is critical to the solution’s functionality and scale.

The City is interested in and open to the idea of providing access to additional assets (facilities, buildings, street furniture, etc.) that strengthen the solution’s potential to deliver revenue and public value. Providers are encouraged to be creative and consider a diverse array of potential uses such as public wi-fi, public safety, and the use of sensor technology to support various IoE (Internet of Everything) devices. Although additional assets cannot be promised at this stage, inspiring ideas will be taken into consideration during the development of any Request for Proposals.


SUBMITTING A RESPONSE

Who Should Respond
The City welcomes ideas from technologists, telecommunications specialists, advertising agencies, social entrepreneurs, engineers, architects, designers, NGOs, and general city enthusiasts working locally or internationally.

How to Respond
One electronic copy in machine-readable format (MS Word format or PDF) should be sent via email to both andrew.buss@phila.gov and ellen.hwang@phila.gov with the subject line “Smart City Submission– First name, Last name”. Please use the RFI template provided in Appendix A for your responses. Your proposal should also include:

  • A cover letter which summarizes your response, includes areas to which you are responding, and indicates if supporting documentation is included in your response.
  • The response itself, covering any or all of the areas of information requested by this RFI.

It’s encouraged that you limit the size of your response to approximately 10 pages including supporting documentation. Responses must be received no later than Friday, August 12, 2016 5:00 PM EST.


Have a question?
First, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.

For any questions regarding this RFI that are not addressed in our FAQs, submit them on bigideasphl.com by no later than 5:00 PM (EST) on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. You will need to register on bigideasphl.com in order to post your question. Any questions sent via email or posted on social media will be directed back to the comment section on bigideasphl.com. All questions received by this date and time will be answered appropriately.  The title of such comment should read, “RFI –Smart City [insert firm name].”  The City expects to respond by Friday, August 5, 2016 to questions received by that date and time.  Questions by respondents, and any additional information that the City provides in response to such questions, will be posted on bigideasphl.com.

ATTENTION: No questions are to be directed to the Mayor’s Office, Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, and the Office of Innovation and Technology.

The City anticipates the following scheduled for the RFI process:

  • RFI Release: July 12, 2016
  • Questions regarding RFI due: July 27, 2016
  • Response provided: August 5, 2016
  • RFI submission due: August 12, 2016

RFI Response Contact, Review and Clarification Process
This RFI is issued with the intent to survey the industry to obtain information that provides guidance, which may be used in the preparation of RFP. Based on those responses, the Review Committee will augment its roadmap which may result in one or more RFPs. To fully comprehend the information contained within a response to this RFI, the Review Committee may request further clarification in the form of brief verbal communication by telephone, written communication, electronic communication, or a presentation to the RFI Review Committee. Companies responding to this RFI shall designate a single contact within that company for receipt of all subsequent information regarding this RFI. The name of this contact will be made available to the Review Committee.

Distribution of RFI Responses and Copyrighted Material
Copies of all documentation submitted in response to this RFI will be available to the Evaluation Committee for review purposes. According to the City’s Policies and Procedures, proprietary and confidential material shall not be included in any response to the OIT.


About Philadelphia Office of Innovation & Technology
The Philadelphia Office of Innovation and Technology (OIT) is the central IT organization that oversees the technology infrastructure for the City. The Office of Innovation and Technology seeks inspiration from the marketplace of innovators, technologists, engineers, marketers, programmers, and city enthusiasts to come up with new uses for existing assets that provide public value and generate revenue.

This RFI opportunity has been developed with the support of Citymart. Citymart transforms the way cities solve problems, connecting them with new ideas through open challenges to entrepreneurs and citizens.  Philadelphia and Citymart are working together to run a series of open challenges to pave the way for future innovations in government policy and practice.

Program Manager for Innovation Management, City of Philadelphia Office of Innovation & Technology

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33 comments on “CLOSED: Using Technology to Create a Smart City, Request for Ideas
  1. Ellen Hwang says:

    Below is a question received via e-mail:
    Q: I recently came across this request for bids: Multi-Purpose Wireless Network; I am hoping you can email me a copy of any specifications and/or documents associated with this bid.

    A: To clarify, this is not a bid opportunity. This is a Request for Ideas. Please refer to the description of the RFI above for details regarding what an RFI entails.

    All specifications and documents associated with this RFI are linked above (highlighted in blue). You’ll find Appendix A (template for RFI submission), Appendix B (Site map of leased towers), and the FAQ in PDF format in their respective links and can be downloaded accordingly.

  2. wmitchell says:

    Hello, I have a small company based in Philadelphia and have several ideas that would be great to respond to this RFI with. The ideas / systems however are proprietary to my company. Will proprietary responses be accepted as part of this opportunity?

  3. Ellen Hwang says:

    Below is a question received via e-mail:

    Q: If [the response] is marked proprietary information will the data only be shared with other government personnel and not posted in the public domain?

    A: The City of Philadelphia is subject to the requirements of the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law, 65 P.S. Section 67.101, et. seq., (“RTKL”). If your proposal is prominently marked “Confidential” on each page where confidential/proprietary and/or trade secret information appears, the City will notify you before publicaly releasing any portion of your proposal so marked in response to an RTKL request to give you an opportunity to identify information that you believe is not legally subject to disclosure. Certain information that is confidential/proprietary or constitutes a trade secret under the RTKL can be redacted from proposals. Ultimately the City will make the decision as to whether any information is subject to public disclosure. The City’s decision to deny a request, in whole or in part (including making redactions to a proposal), can be appealed to the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records, and ultimately to the courts, for determination.

  4. amcilvai says:

    1. Regarding RFI, Using Technology to Create a Smart City, due 8-12-16, please describe the current meter reading system(s) and processes used today at the City of Philadelphia including the name of the current software provider providing remote meter-reading services?
    2. And, is the remote meter reading requirement exclusively for the Water Department only?

    • Ellen Hwang says:

      The City’s water, electric and gas meters are read by electronic systems which are specific to those agencies. Both the Water and Gas Companies are City owned. PECO, the electric supplier, is part of Exelon Corporation and independently operated. All, some or none of these agencies may participate but all will be offered the chance depending on the solution offered. The City chooses to offer no additional information at this time.

  5. Hi Ellen,

    We’re excited to submit a concept paper for this RFI. We were wondering: do individual ideas need to be submitted independently, or can we combined them into a larger program?

    Thanks!

    • Ellen Hwang says:

      Under the same company, individual ideas do not need to submitted independently. However, the company should be explicit as to whether the City should evaluate each idea individually or as an entire program.

  6. Ellen Hwang says:

    Below is a question received by e-mail:

    Q: I wondered if you had a Word or Excel version for pages 7 and 8.

    A: Please find the hyperlink to a Word version (.doc) of Appendix A, or pages 7 & 8 of the RFI, under the section “Submitting a Response”. Follow the link to download the document.

  7. verizon says:

    Below are the question sets from Verizon Enterprise Services

    1. RFI notes that the City is open to pilot IoT solutions in specific areas within the City. Does that include areas not within the current Tower Locations as depicted in Appendix B?

    2. Is use of existing towers and assets mandatory?

    3. Will access to other public buildings and facilities within the City be provided?

    4. Does the Tower lease agreement prevent adding new Sub GHz IoT and 3/4G radios?

    5. Is the inter-tower fiber lit?

    6. The RFI notes that the tower leases may have to be taken over by the vendor. What are the current monthly cost of tower leasehold and O&M broken down by cost components?

    7. Is use of the City’s 4.9 GHz spectrum mandatory?

    8. Since the City desires the WiFi service to be free (hence no revenue prospect for Smart City Partner), is there a willingness to subsidize this class of service while the City and its vendor partner workout revenue sharing models for the other classes of IoT services?

    9. RFI notes that only a portion of the City’s street lighting poles would be available? Could you elaborate?

    10. For solutions such as smart parking and road ice level detection, will the City provide permission and access to dig roads to place sensors as needed?

    11. Does the City operate any co-located electric meters as central node for any current water meters?

    12. What is the City’s current data collection and analysis enterprise architecture? Is data collected on batched or real-time basis? What analytics engines is the City using?

    13. Would the City provide access to applications and data directly or require the vendor to be in a DMZ zone?

    14. What is the current security architecture and policy?

    15. Can the City provide behind firewall access to systems?

    16. Will the City require a private instance of the IoT PaaS behind their firewall or in Verizon Cloud partitioned via VPN?

    17. Will the City provide monthly, quarterly, semi-annually and annual expectation of demand for each class of IoT service or is this incumbent upon the vendor for estimation?

    18. Does the City expect a minimum percentage of revenue sharing by class of IoT service?

    19. Will the City provide a program management office (PMO) space, furniture and resources?

    20. Will the City develop, execute and pay for citizen awareness programs for these new IoT Services or is expected to be a joint cost sharing activity?

    • Ellen Hwang says:

      Q1: RFI notes that the City is open to pilot IoT solutions in specific areas within the City. Does that include areas not within the current Tower Locations as depicted in Appendix B?
      A1: Both the tower locations as well as lighting poles are geographically dispersed throughout the City so it would be difficult to have a pilot and not be in an area which had at least some of these City assets.

      Q2: Is use of existing towers and assets mandatory?
      A2: No

      Q3: Will access to other public buildings and facilities within the City be provided?
      A3: Depending on the scope of the project or projects selected by the City, we are open to allowing access in or on certain buildings. Vendors should realize that some City buildings may have historical certifications which may preclude changes to the building façade for example. For other buildings, we may have room either on the building or on the roof which we would consider using for this project.

      Q4: Does the Tower lease agreement prevent adding new Sub GHz IoT and 3/4G radios?
      A4: The lease agreements are specific to the equipment already on the towers. We assume that the leases can be modified to allow newer equipment to be installed as long as this equipment does not alter the tower loading requirements.

      Q5: Is the inter-tower fiber lit?
      A5: No

      Q6: The RFI notes that the tower leases may have to be taken over by the vendor. What are the current monthly cost of tower leasehold and O&M broken down by cost components?
      A6: The yearly cost for the tower leases is $ 635,000. This is the full lease cost.

      Q7: Is use of the City’s 4.9 GHz spectrum mandatory?
      A7: No and this spectrum can only be used if the solution has a public safety component.

      Q8: Since the City desires the WiFi service to be free (hence no revenue prospect for Smart City Partner), is there a willingness to subsidize this class of service while the City and its vendor partner workout revenue sharing models for the other classes of IoT services?
      A8: No, but the City will entertain proposals as to how the service can be funded.

      Q9: RFI notes that only a portion of the City’s street lighting poles would be available? Could you elaborate?
      A9: This was stated because although the City has in excess of 120,000 light poles it was assumed any solution would only use a portion of this number. Also some poles may already have equipment on them which may preclude their use for this project. However, we believe that number to be small. Since the light poles are sufficiently close to one another if one is unsuitable, we are reasonably sure one close by would suffice.

      Q10: For solutions such as smart parking and road ice level detection, will the City provide permission and access to dig roads to place sensors as needed?
      A10: Permits are needed for this type of work and the City will educate the successful vendor in that process and assist wherever we can in moving the project forward.

      Q11: Does the City operate any co-located electric meters as central node for any current water meters?
      A11: The Water Department is a city owned utility and they employ their own system for reading meters which involves a car traversing in proximity to a home to collect the information from the meter. PECO has a separate method for meter reading.

      Q12: What is the City’s current data collection and analysis enterprise architecture? Is data collected on batched or real-time basis? What analytics engines is the City using?
      A12: The analytics and data collection processes can vary by department and/or service.

      Q13: Would the City provide access to applications and data directly or require the vendor to be in a DMZ zone?
      A13: Access to City systems will follow 3rd Party access standards and will require secure connectivity.

      Q14: What is the current security architecture and policy?
      A14: The City of Philadelphia chooses not to answer this question.

      Q15: Can the City provide behind firewall access to systems?
      A15: The partner may be able to access City systems through standard 3rd party access policies.

      Q16: Will the City require a private instance of the IoT PaaS behind their firewall or in Verizon Cloud partitioned via VPN?
      A16: We will not require a private instance.

      Q17: Will the City provide monthly, quarterly, semi-annually and annual expectation of demand for each class of IoT service or is this incumbent upon the vendor for estimation?
      A17: Depending on the class of service and the part of the City where it is implemented the City will make its best efforts to estimate demand or provide the successful vendor with any information at our disposal which can assist in determining demand.

      Q18: Does the City expect a minimum percentage of revenue sharing by class of IoT service?
      A18: The City would favor a project which generates revenue for the City. Revenue splits would be subject to negotiation between the City and successful vendor. However, the City will also seriously consider projects or proposals which it deems are of significant benefit to our citizens even if the project is revenue neutral. Any project must at a minimum generate enough revenue to be self-sustaining over time.

      Q19: Will the City provide a program management office (PMO) space, furniture and resources?
      A19: No but the City will provide meeting space when required.

      Q20: Will the City develop, execute and pay for citizen awareness programs for these new IoT Services or is expected to be a joint cost sharing activity?
      A20: The City will advertise any new programs through its press contracts, web sites and community group contacts. Publicity will not be an issue.

  8. Ellen Hwang says:

    Below is a question received by e-mail:

    Q: Are all of the city’s high sites available? (My understanding is that the city has more high sites than the 25 indicated the map in Appendix B.)

    A: The high sites listed in the RFI are those which are presently leased by the City for our initial wifi project. The City does, however, own 10 additional high sites which are used for our radio network. Depending on the project, the City may consider allowing the successful vendor to have access to these sites pending structural analysis to determine tower loading limitations.

  9. Ellen Hwang says:

    Below is a question received by e-mail:

    Q: Can you provide addresses or geo coordinates (lat, long) for the high sites?

    A: For security reasons the City has decided not to give exact coordinates for any site, whether leased or owned by the City, but vendors can assume these sites are geographically dispersed as to cover the City.

  10. Ellen Hwang says:

    Below is a question received by e-mail:

    Q: How many miles of underground tunnel rights-of-way does Philadelphia have? Where are they? Can you provide a map?

    A: Although we do have ‘tunnels’ or more appropriately concourse levels mostly throughout Center City, we do not permit conduit to be run at this level. When we say ‘right-of-way’ we are referring to street level rights-of-way either on City owned poles, City leased towers or permission from the City to run conduit as required depending on the scope of the project. Everything is done from the street level.

  11. verizon says:

    Q: What is the total number of the streetlights on utility poles that are not to be included in the RFI scope?

    • Ellen Hwang says:

      Although the City has in excess of 120,000 light poles it is assumed any solution would only use a portion of this number. Also some poles may already have equipment on them which may preclude their use for this project. However, we believe that number to be small. Since the light poles are sufficiently close to one another if one is unsuitable, we are reasonably sure one close by would suffice.

  12. verizon says:

    Q: The RFI notes the response should be 10 pages or less. However, in the Appendix A Template, the proposal section delineates the number of word for each response. Which instruction set should responders adhere to: 10 pages or the word count? Or, is the Proposal Response table a summary of the Response not to exceed 10 pages?

  13. amcilvai says:

    Regarding question 2.10 associated with the City’s RFI titled Using Technology to Create a Smart City, please clarify if the City is seeking a savings financial model or a financing financial model?

  14. njbaker says:

    City of Philadelphia
    RFI-Smart City – WEST Safety Services
    July 27, 2016

    ASSETS

    1. Are the 25 sites deployed with radio antenna equipment? If yes, what technology is deployed at each site?

    2. How many of the tower sites are at maximum weight loading state? For those that are not, what are the weight loads available for use?

    3. Is physical monitoring equipment deployed to any / all of the 25 tower sites? If yes, what type of physical monitoring is deployed and where?

    4. Are any of the tower sites in poorly or un-secured areas where additional security measures or enhancements will be required?

    5. Does the city prefer proposals that relieve the City as lease-holder of the towers?

    6. Are there any other lease conditions that would preclude respondents to this RFI from sub-letting the tower(s) to others?

    REQUEST FOR IDEAS

    1. Can the City provide a Public Private Partnership (PPP) revenue sharing contract or reasonable facsimile that will serve to inform responses to this RFI?

    2. Personal and/or proprietary information is implicated multiple times in the RFI. What entity will ultimately be responsible for adherence to relevant federal and state regulations?

    3. What entity in a PPP is expected to provide the resilient and high capacity points of interconnection for Internet access?

    4. What entity in a PPP will provide IP addresses for the provision of city government services? In the PPP, will the City provide IP addressing from its class of government addresses or will the partner be expected to obtain them from commercial sources?

    5. Will the City provide a single point of interface for managing services that cross multiple departments and use cases, e.g. Public Safety vs. Public Works, Police vs. Fire, etc.

    6. Has any portion or component of the “Ideas” for use cases (set forth in Section 3 of this RFI) been implemented by the City under a PPP ? If yes, please provide the scope of each and identify the relevant City agency.

    • Ellen Hwang says:

      ASSETS
      Q1: Are the 25 sites deployed with radio antenna equipment? If yes, what technology is deployed at each site?
      A1: These sites were originally used for a Wi-Fi project which the City pursued many years ago. So the equipment, Alvarion and Tropos, on the towers are related to that project. Equipment has been shut down by the City so there is no functioning equipment on any of the sites. As-built documentation is available for several sites to assist in the site survey process.

      Q2: How many of the tower sites are at maximum weight loading state? For those that are not, what are the weight loads available for use?
      A2: The tower sites in question are leased and it is unknown as to their capacity as space is continually leased out. It is assumed if the successful vendor wishes to install additional equipment on the tower a structural analysis will be required.

      Q3: Is physical monitoring equipment deployed to any / all of the 25 tower sites? If yes, what type of physical monitoring is deployed and where?
      A3: There is no physical monitoring equipment installed at any of the sites.

      Q4: Are any of the tower sites in poorly or un-secured areas where additional security measures or enhancements will be required?
      A4: We have not had acts of vandalism at any of our sites and the equipment has been in place for over a decade.

      Q5: Does the city prefer proposals that relieve the City as lease-holder of the towers?
      A5: Yes. However, if you have a proposal that does not include the towers, it would be helpful for the City to understand the reason why.

      Q6: Are there any other lease conditions that would preclude respondents to this RFI from sub-letting the tower(s) to others?
      A6: The City assumes that we will have to work with the successful vendor on transferring leases and we are prepared to do that. We are not aware of any conditions which would preclude the transfer of a lease.

      REQUEST FOR IDEAS
      q1: Can the City provide a Public Private Partnership (PPP) revenue sharing contract or reasonable facsimile that will serve to inform responses to this RFI?
      a1: Although the City envisions this endeavor as being a public-private partnership, these agreements are negotiated individually so there is no ‘boilerplate’ contract for this.

      q2: Personal and/or proprietary information is implicated multiple times in the RFI. What entity will ultimately be responsible for adherence to relevant federal and state regulations?
      a2: The City requires the successful vendor to adhere to and comply with any and all regulations whether federal, state or local when doing a project. The City will assist on our part to supply any information required for a vendor to comply with these provisions.
      The ‘proprietary’ language in the RFI refers to vendor technologies which might be employed in a solution. Please see above questions regarding the rules and regulations regarding proprietary information and the PA Right-to-Know Law.

      q3: What entity in a PPP is expected to provide the resilient and high capacity points of interconnection for Internet access?
      a3: The successful vendor will be responsible.

      q4: What entity in a PPP will provide IP addresses for the provision of city government services? In the PPP, will the City provide IP addressing from its class of government addresses or will the partner be expected to obtain them from commercial sources?
      a4: The partner will be expected to obtain IP addresses.

      q5: Will the City provide a single point of interface for managing services that cross multiple departments and use cases, e.g. Public Safety vs. Public Works, Police vs. Fire, etc.
      a5: The City will provide a point of contact and will assist the successful vendor with any interactions needed across City departments.

      q6: Has any portion or component of the “Ideas” for use cases (set forth in Section 3 of this RFI) been implemented by the City under a PPP ? If yes, please provide the scope of each and identify the relevant City agency.
      a6: The City does employ some of the functionality mentioned in Section 3 of the RFP. For example, the City Water Department reads meters remotely but it requires a vehicle to travel close to the property to get a reading. We have limited gunshot detection but it does not work Citywide. We also employ about 350 surveillance cameras which are installed and maintained by the City. The last two are supported by the Office of Innovation and Technology although both are used by the Police Department. These efforts have limited effectiveness and this RFI hopes to enable the City to develop more robust solutions and especially solutions which solve multiple problems.
      The City does not have capability in the other areas in Section 3. It should be noted that these are only examples of some of the functionalities which could be included in a vendor response and vendors should not be limited to these. The City is looking for vendor ideas which go beyond those mentioned in Section 3.

  15. We understand that Firetide equipment has been deployed in the past? How is the Firetide equipment currently being utilized, is there an inventory for this equipment, and can this equipment be leveraged for this RFI and in the eventual Solution moving forward?

  16. Intersection says:

    RFI Smart City Questions:

    1. Are there regulations respondents should be aware of that govern what can be deployed on the streets or in public spaces, e.g. related to privacy, commercial WiFi, zoning, historical districts, signage, etc.?

    2. Has the City established evaluation criteria for proposals?

    3. Has the City determined timing and scope of a future RFP?

    4. Does the City have any thoughts on contract length it intends to award?

    5. Will the City provide a single point of contact for permitting and approvals? What support from the City can respondents expect in terms of permitting and other necessary regulatory compliance?

    6. Can the City provide any additional information on the tower assets? For example, height of structures, standalone pole or building, etc.

    7. Can the City provide respondents access to fiber assets besides those that connect the towers mentioned in the RFI?

    8. Can the City provide more detail on what existing systems it has deployed to address any of the use cases contemplated in the RFI? e.g. public safety, transportation analytics, infrastructure monitoring, etc.?

    Thank you.

    • Ellen Hwang says:

      Q1: Are there regulations respondents should be aware of that govern what can be deployed on the streets or in public spaces, e.g. related to privacy, commercial WiFi, zoning, historical districts, signage, etc.?
      A1: The City has many regulations which all vendors doing business here must follow. In the case of this RFI some are coded within our City rules and some are rules which we follow from a policy perspective. For example, we do deploy video surveillance cameras but we would never permit a camera to be swiveled to look into a private home. If construction takes place on a City street, vendors would be required to return the street to its former condition, etc. The City anticipates that any vendor undertaking a project of this magnitude will have the experience and background to understand how to do business in a large City and make accommodations for doing that. The City will work with the successful vendor to ensure the vendor’s success in the project or projects we choose. But every vendor should realize and expect there will be regulatory issues we both need to work through and we will work through these together.

      Q2: Has the City established evaluation criteria for proposals?
      A2: The purpose of the RFI is to elicit ideas which may eventually result in the issuance of the RFP. The team overseeing the RFI responses will work through a process to determine the feasibility and which procurement model must be taken to support the development of a potential RFP.

      Q3: Has the City determined timing and scope of a future RFP?
      A3: The scope of the potential RFP will depend on the responses to the RFI and the ideas it might generate from a diverse group of respondents. This will also effect the timing of the issuance of the RFP.

      Q4: Does the City have any thoughts on contract length it intends to award?
      A4: In accordance with Philadelphia Home Rule Charter mandates, City contracts are normally awarded for one year terms with 3 one-year renewal options at the City’s sole discretion. Since we realize that a company may make a significant capital investment in a project, we will work with the chosen provider on mutually agreeable contract term provisions taking into consideration the proposal and the relative benefit to the City.

      Q5: Will the City provide a single point of contact for permitting and approvals? What support from the City can respondents expect in terms of permitting and other necessary regulatory compliance?
      A5: The City will supply a single point of contact and work with the vendor on all necessary regulatory requirements. Permitting is handled through our Streets Department and must follow a very defined process. The City will work with the successful vendor to ensure familiarity with the process.

      Q6. Can the City provide any additional information on the tower assets? For example, height of structures, standalone pole or building, etc.
      A6: The City will share more detailed information if and when an RFP is issued.

      Q7: Can the City provide respondents access to fiber assets besides those that connect the towers mentioned in the RFI?
      A7: Possibly, the needs of the vendor and the capabilities of those assets will need to be evaluated.

      Q8: Can the City provide more detail on what existing systems it has deployed to address any of the use cases contemplated in the RFI? e.g. public safety, transportation analytics, infrastructure monitoring, etc.?
      A8: A response to this question has already been posted.

  17. chuclay says:

    The word count limits imposed in the RFI are counter-productive to completing a response that provides all the information useful to both understand the benefits of the technology and prepare the RFP. Will you consider revising or removing the limits with the stipulation that excess marketing material not be provided as a response to any question?

    • Ellen Hwang says:

      The City understands that respondents may want to include marketing material in their responses. The City will agree to accept such material which might be included over and above and separate from the response limitations imposed in the original RFI. These materials must be clearly for marketing purposes and should in no way be used to supply a response above the limits in the original RFI. The City imposes a file limitation of 10MB. All submissions including marketing materials should not exceed this limit.

  18. Ellen Hwang says:

    Q: With respect to the city’s street lighting system, does the city currently have any controls installed on cobra heads, decoratives or park lights, and if so, what is the controls system/platform? (e.g. Cimcon, Telensa, Rome, Silver Spring, CityTouch, other?).

    A: The City of Philadelphia currently has several systems under trial. The City has not yet picked a specific manufacturer as all systems have their own unique characteristics. We are still in the evaluation period for most of the systems.

  19. Ellen Hwang says:

    Q: Is this project intended to be associated with the goals and mission of the Philadelphia Energy Campaign?

    A: Not necessarily but if we see synergies in the final proposal we may link them.

  20. Ellen Hwang says:

    Q: After the RFI period has concluded, when does the City expected to release one or more of the RFPs? Will the RFP(s) all be included within this one initiative, or is the city considering more than one procurement model to obtain all of these Smart City projects/services?

    A: The results of the RFI will largely determine if, how, and when the City might move forward with an RFP. We would like to see responses from a diverse range of solution providers and do not want to limit responses based on one procurement model.

  21. Ellen Hwang says:

    Q: Is there interest in procuring these services using the PA Guaranteed Energy Savings Act (39) enabling legislation which allows for energy savings and metering and revenue generation supporting projects to be repaid over a period not to exceed 20 years (including the cost of financing)?

    A: The City will accept and review RFI proposals which reference and or use the PA Guaranteed Energy Savings Act but any such acceptance of a proposal will be pursuant to the City’s legal review. Should the City decide to pursue this revenue generation model it will be specified in a subsequent RFP.

  22. Ellen Hwang says:

    Q: Are the projects intended to be funded with multi-year financial structures, such as tax-exempt bond(s), PPAs, tax-exempt lease(s)?

    A: No, under this RFI the City is contributing access to its infrastructure and rights-of-way. There is at present no revenue commitment from the City.

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