Assessment of Public Media’s Interconnection Systems

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Open to all applicants.


April 29, 2019

Request for Proposals

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) seeks the services of a contractor(s) (“Contractor”) with expertise in evaluating interconnection services for television and radio, to provide CPB with a written analysis of the existing public media interconnection systems operated by PBS and NPR (“Interconnection Systems”), evaluating their efficiency, effectiveness, and adaptability for the future, plus a written analysis of the proposed next phase of PBS’s Interconnection System, including a cost analysis (collectively “Report”).

Please download the Request for Proposals below for detailed information, including application requirements.
PDF icon Request for Proposals161.63 KB

Questions from Potential Respondents, with CPB Answers:

FAQ Topic: 

Will the requirement to identify potential savings include the examination and assessment of all content supply chain, handling, storage, editorial, S&P, and (re)distribution, or only the opportunity for these savings against the current operational practices and resident technologies in these areas.

Identified potential savings should relate directly to Interconnection Systems’ technologies and operational practices.

Are the recommendations to be provided intended only to address whether the proposed Interconnection Systems will meet the data collected by CPB for the growing digital media consumption, or is it intended to validate the metrics around that growing consumption?

The Report must include a wide range of recommendations described in the RFP. There are not specific metrics that CPB requires; however, Contractor must consider this when evaluating the next phase for PBS’s Interconnection System.

Can you add context to the phrase “limited public media resources”?

Public media system is a non-profit system, which depends on a variety of funding sources and member donations for its’ financial well-being. Therefore, the interconnection system must be constructed efficiently and cost-effectively.

Please clarify the use of the term “structural” here. Is that organizational?

No, “structural” is not meant to refer to staffing but the components of the Interconnection System and its operations on physical, service and functional levels.

Please define your use of the term “actual costs” and what specific documentation CPB would expect to be provided.

Actual costs refers to the costs incurred that can be supported by appropriate documentation, e.g. receipts.

Can you clarify the use of the phrase “after approval of final financial report”? What financial report is this referring to?

The final financial report is Contractor’s last payment request submitted to CPB.

Does CPB, PBS or NPR maintain any corporate rates for travel related services Contractor may avail of as associated with this project?


Does CPB utilize or require Contractor to book travel related items, or submit related expenses, within a corporate travel system?


Are the Expense for travel expected to be estimated and invoiced periodically as-incurred and pre-approved by CPB, or are these also to be a fixed-fee for the stated scope of work?

Travel expenses will be reimbursed on a cost basis without mark-up.

Can you explain why it is necessary for CPB to understand why a project team member is an employee of Contractor or a subcontracted resource?

This information allows CPB to understand the project staffing.

Due to Confidentiality Agreements and other legally-restrictive conditions, it may be necessary for such references to restrict the information they can share about specific Contractor engagements, including their personal and company identities. Is this acceptable if required?

For the examples and references to be meaningful, CPB prefers that the Contractor provides it with information and data that can be verified.

Can you define your expectations for “examples” of completed work?

Please refer to the evaluation criteria.

Can you estimate or set a Not to Exceed quantity for what is described as “the analysis of other proposals”?

No, because while CPB anticipates issuing additional RFPs, the number and their scope has not yet been determined.

To what level of detail do you require the Contractor to analyze the difference between common distribution technologies and the (PBS) Interconnection Systems? Will this include any or all of the following: format, architecture, capacity, performance, initial cost, total cost of ownership?

The Contractor must propose the appropriate level of detail to analyze considering the difference between common distribution technologies and the Interconnection Systems and recommend which components should be included in that analysis to provide CPB with the evaluation and recommendations specified in the RFP.

Is there an existing data set or other target metrics for what you refer to as “the audience’s growing appetite for digital media content consumption”?

No there is not a specific data set or target metrics.

Will CPB expose to the Contractor, for the purposes of the financial evaluation, all financial information for the current service providers, leaseholds, maintenance contracts, run-rate expenses, etc. related to the existing Interconnection Systems?

Yes, once an agreement is signed with the Contractor, this information will be provided, subject to any restrictions therein.

Are the Station Representative and Working Group meetings expected to be in addition to the 6 meetings identified in RFP Section IV. B.?


How many members of the Interconnection Working Group are there, and will discovery meetings with them be held in D.C.? If not, can you estimate how many meetings that may require and where those would be held?

There are 32 members currently. Contractor must determine the number of meetings which should be conducted predominantly through phone interviews and/or email, although Contractor may choose to conduct in-person meetings for those near it.

Should we assume the discovery meetings with each of the 12 Station Representatives will need to occur in market or will there be a group meeting in D.C.? Can you share the list of stations/locations if visits to each station will be required?

The meetings should be conducted predominately through phone interviews and/or email, although Contractor may choose to conduct in-person meetings for those near it. There is no list of stations/locations available currently.

Does the Interconnection System, and this project, include the distribution of PBS and NPR stations to their respective OTA transmission sites, or are those links precluded from the assessment?

While the there is no requirement that Contractor evaluate each stations’ links to their OTA transmission sites, Contractor must determine whether it is appropriate to include an assessment of the overall system’s connectivity.

Can you estimate the percentage of the Interconnection Systems influencing and/or level of attention associated with the NPR aspects of the project?

Both systems are of equal importance; therefore, Contractor must determine the amount of time required to evaluate each.

Regarding the “ongoing consulting services and evaluations of other proposals”, can you explain from where they will originate and the depth of evaluation?

While CPB anticipates issuing additional RFPs, the number and their scope has not yet been determined.

Regarding the Interim and Final Reports, can you define who the audience will be for each of these reports? Because these are expected to be of “publishable quality”, do you expect that they will become public-facing or will they be strictly for publication to CPB, PBS and NPR stakeholders?

Both reports must be of publishable quality, as they may be public-facing.

Can you clarify what the “proposed next phase of PBS’s Interconnection System” is? Who is producing this and when will it be available for analysis?

PBS is developing its plan for the next phase of PBS’s Interconnection System which should be available in the first quarter of 2020. It is a live, near-live, linear program content delivery system.

Can CPB advise what the expected date is for the PBS proposal? If the expected date is not known at this time, can CPB estimate the earliest possible date that at least a draft version might be available?

Estimated date is Q1 2020.

Can the response deadline be extended by one week to April 24?

Actually, we will extend the deadline until April 29, 2019 4:30 PM EDT.