Request for information: provision of Internet by satellite for schools

Request for information: provision of Internet by satellite for schools

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Source: UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is seeking vendors to provide satellite-based services and solutions to accelerate the adoption of Internet connectivity in schools and other program areas. The Request for Information (RFI) aims to identify and pre-select potential service providers capable of providing all or part of the Satellite Internet access for schools terms.

In 2019, UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) joined forces to create Giga: a global initiative to connect all schools to the Internet by 2030. Since then, Giga has directly connected more than 5,500 schools to the internet in 19 countries benefiting 2.1 million learners since 2020. However, connecting remote and rural schools in settlements without access to electricity, more than 20 km of fiber infrastructure and out of reach of mobile cellular networks, is a significant challenge that must be addressed if we are to connect all the schools in the world by 2030.

Giga aims to provide meaningful and sustainable connectivity to all schools. However, for the most remote schools, the lack of infrastructure considerably increases connection costs. And even if we can connect the most isolated schools, it is important to ensure that the price they would pay each month for Internet services is affordable.

Therefore, Giga’s partner, UNICEF, is requesting information from satellite communications companies to understand available technology solutions and their capabilities to connect the most remote schools, licensing requirements and capital expenditures. and operation associated with each technology. Access to efficient and cost-effective satellite communication services is critical to UNICEF’s programmatic goals in schools in more than 190 countries spanning thousands of locations around the world. In addition, satellite services would be used in many of these countries to support the Giga initiative.

As a result of this Request for Information (RFI), UNICEF is considering entering into a non-exclusive Long Term Agreement (LTA) with one or more vendors to provide end-to-end connectivity solutions to schools. Additionally, UNICEF can use this LTA to “negotiate” contractual relationships with governments to provide satellite connectivity to their schools under the Giga initiative.

The connectivity is primarily intended for use in schools, but could be extended to other areas of UNICEF programs or operations around the world. Companies are encouraged to respond to the RFI here by November 30, 2022, 11:59 p.m. (GMT-5) Eastern Time (US and Canada).

Important Information

This Request for Information (RFI) does not constitute a formal solicitation, as UNICEF is not requesting bids or proposals at this stage. Instead, the RF seeks information on commercial components and pricing models for future tenders. Please note that you are not required to provide exact prices or quotes, only averages or estimates of CAPEX and OPEX for connectivity and clean energy solutions.

Responding to this RFI does not automatically guarantee that you will be selected to participate in a tender or be selected for a procurement. Further, UNICEF will not be responsible for your costs of preparing and submitting the requested information.

In addition, UNICEF reserves the right to modify or cancel the requirements at any time during the RFI and/or any future solicitation process and reserves the right to require compliance with additional conditions as and as any future tender documents are published.

As a minimum requirement, only companies that provide clear and accurate information to the questions mentioned above will be deemed suitable to provide the services and may be invited to participate in the future tender process.

Please check here or reach out to Claire Heraud for more information.

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