Procurement: Information for Respondents/Service Providers

Interested in building #broadbandforeveryone?

SWIFT has issued a Request for Prequalification (RFPQ) whereby twenty-six (26) Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) have prequalified and are eligible, as potential proponents, to participate in the SWIFT RFP processes.

Stage one of the RFPQ process required respondents to share information about the exact location of their existing infrastructure and known service gaps. They were also required to provide details pertaining to their business structure and financial capabilities. The RFPQ began the process of establishing critical network standards and eligibility criteria for building the SWIFT network. The location and amount of fibre-optic infrastructure built in each community will be determined by the final overall design of the project, as informed by the RFPQ process. As the project moves forward SWIFT will re-open the RFPQ process to allow new TSPs to be added to the list where appropriate.

SWIFT is using a multi-stage process to ensure the goals of the project are achieved within our projected timeline. We are sharing as much information as possible to support interested bidders in participating in the project as well as to keep our stakeholders and the general public informed about progress on the project. Once complete, the RFP(s) will be posted on bids&tenders™ . All information will also be cross-posted and shared through our website and mailing list.

Pre-qualified service providers include:

  • Bell Canada
  • BH Telecom Corp.
  • Bluewater Regional Networks Inc.
  • Brant Municipal Enterprises Inc.
  • Brooke Telecom Co-operative Ltd.
  • Bruce Telecom
  • CK Open Fibre Inc.
  • Cogeco Connexion Inc.
  • Distributel Communications Limited
  • Eastlink
  • Execulink Telecom Inc.
  • Frontline 360 Inc.
  • GB TEL Incorporated
  • HCE Telecom
  • Hydro One Telecom Inc.
  • Lakeland Energy Ltd.
  • Nexicom Inc.
  • Niagara Regional Broadband Network Limited
  • North Frontenac Telephone Company, Elgin Corp.
  • Rogers Communications Canada Inc.
  • Silo Wireless Inc.
  • TeraGo Networks Inc.
  • The North Frontenac Telephone Company Corp.
  • Vianet Inc.
  • Xplornet Communications Inc.
  • Zayo Group LLC

FAQ & Useful Information

When did the procurement process start?

The network will be competitively bid and designed through a multi-stage RFPQ/RFP process.

The RFPQ process contains two stages and is being used to establish a list of pre-qualified respondents to submit proposal(s) in response to subsequent RFP(s) for the network construction.

The RFPQ process launched on May 12, 2017. As the project moves forward, SWIFT will re-open the RFPQ process to allow new Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to be added to the list where appropriate.

Is the RFPQ/RFP process conducted only for Internet Service Providers (“ISP”)?

No.  Facilities and non-facilities based providers within and outside of the SWIFT operating territory and other parties with an interest in building, owning and operating fibre optic network facilities within the SWIFT operating territory are eligible to respond to RFPQ Stage 1.

Who performs the contracting of the fibre deployment? Will they be chosen by the ISP?

SWIFT will contract the fibre deployment. Any Subcontractors of Respondents/Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) will be chosen by the Respondent/TSP.

Is there a formal RFP process for the contractor as well?

Any TSPs responding to the RFP are responsible for their own procurement processes.

Why an RFPQ? Do we have to participate in this stage of the process?

SWIFT is using a multi-stage RFPQ process to:

  • Determine the exact location of existing infrastructure and known service gaps and
  • Gain a stronger understanding of service providers’ current business structures and financial plans
  • Establish critical network standards and eligibility criteria for building the SWIFT network

The location and amount of fibre-optic infrastructure built in each community will be determined by the final overall design of the project, as informed by the RFPQ process. The final proposed project design will be released through RFP and confirmed when Telecom Service Providers are selected to build out the project.

In order to participate in the RFP, Telecom Service Providers must participate and be pre-qualified through the RFPQ process. 

SWIFT is using this multi-stage process to ensure the goals of the project are achieved within our projected timeline.

Where will the RFPQ/RFP be posted?

The RFPQ and RFP(s), along with details of all bid opportunities will be posted on bids&tenders™ as they are released. All information will be cross-posted and shared through our website and mailing list.

How much funding will be available to contractors?

We anticipate that up to $200 million will be available to contractors as part of the contract awarding process. The RFP process will have two stages, including a pre-qualification stage. Funding will not be directed until pre-qualification stage has been completed.

We will keep everyone updated throughout the process as we work towards building broadband for everyone.

What happens after Phase 1 of the project?

After Phase 1 is complete and the network is operational SWIFT will collect a small residual from the successful Telecom Service Providers. The residuals will be added to the Broadband Development Fund (BDF) along with sponsorship funds, more upper level government funding and membership fees. Periodically the board will use the BDF to continue to build out more infrastructure until #broadbandforeveryone becomes a reality. The more organizations using SWIFT infrastructure, the greater the BDF will be – every SWIFT network user will effectively result in increased contributions to the BDF, which means future investments will be self-sustaining and accelerate broadband connections across the entire region.

Will SWIFT be funding fibre-to-the-door connections?

Phase 1 of the SWIFT project is expected to result in fibre connectivity to existing telephone, cable and wireless systems yielding improvements in broadband access in the short-term. Out of a typical 96-strand count fibre cable, 94 strands will be available to potentially provide last-mile connections to individual homes and businesses and strand counts of cable segments may be higher.

Connecting everyone in Southwestern Ontario requires overcoming an infrastructure deficit of approximately $2.7B (depending on geography and benchmarks). The SWIFT model is a funding mechanism to addressing this gap fairly and equitably.

SWIFT will be built, owned, and maintained by service providers...

Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) will participate through an open procurement process and they will build, own, and operate the network. Infrastructure Canada requires the municipal members of SWIFT to maintain 51% ownership of the assets of the network for the first 7 years of its operations (starting in 2020). After 7 years of ownership, Infrastructure Canada grants the recipient of funding (SWIFT) the choice to divest some-or-all of their equity stake to the service providers that built the infrastructure.

SWIFT will be an open-access network, where all service providers compete to deliver services to consumers. As a buying group, SWIFT will ensure greater competition between Telecom Service Providers. More competition gives consumers more choices, which leads to better services and lower prices, as documented by the CRTC and Industry Canada, as well as demonstrated by numerous models from across Canada and around the world as reported in the SWIFT Feasibility Study. Open access is a requirement of the federal government funding program.

Who can I contact to find out more information?

For more information or to speak with our team, please contact:

You can reach any of our team members by calling 519.914.1308 and following the prompts for the person you’d like to speak with.