REQUEST FOR QUOTATION CLARIFICATION No.1 RFQ TITLE: NORTHERNNET BUSINESS CASE & SLA RFQ REF: NN0410 Please find below questions raised and answers provided in relation to the above tender. Please confirm in your response that you have incorporated these questions and responses. Question 1: What is driving this study? I.e. what has generated the need to undertake this review? What are the issues that have come along which necessitate an investigation? How radical a review are partners expecting? Response:
Demand from SMEs is falling well short of projected levels; MABs are not offering support to users; and we are experiencing an unacceptable level of network and software problems. Available marketing resource is contracted for promotion of events, not promotion of use of the network. Some of this is caused by the fact that there are diverse funding streams that have not been reconciled in a single business model or a single point of 'ownership' of operational responsibility.
How much has been invested so far in NorthernNet and how much is yet to spend?
X00324PR - £5.6m spent of total £6m lifetime approved though some of this (estimated £2m) is held on account by Adit North for future network expenditure. X00845PR - £5.3m spent of approved lifetime £5.6m X01469PR - NorthernNet Innovation Technology Platform total budget £3.4m to 2011, £2m spent to March 2010.
Is ADIT’s role under review? And what is their role currently?
ADIT's role as the contractor for X00324PR and X00845PR is under review.
Has NorthernNet been meeting the milestones and delivery targets set out in its various contracts?
Forms part of the review - outputs may not reflect KPIs
What sort of scale of user-base is there? And how many are going for the Connectivity rather than the Pay As You Go offer?
Part of the review.
Question 6: The brief mentions primary and secondary objectives. Are the secondary ones optional/less critical or is this simply a presentational thing? There is quite a list of things which need to be reviewed under the critical issues section. Could you provide a steer on where you think the real emphasis should be placed? There is mention of SLAs and protocol, principles and terms of reference, are you looking for fully operational statements which all parties are agreed upon and ready to implement, or are you seeking draft statements which the team believe address the challenges and which can form the basis of negotiation among partners? Response:
We need to form a view on those elements of the NorthernNET operation which are (a) valuable to industry (b) can be effectively offered as a service to SMEs without distorting markets for connectivity or post-production services (c) may be commercially sustainable. NWDA is the funder for all contracts and will make decisions, using the Executive Management Board that has oversight of the three related projects as a forum for discussion.
Do you believe we need to join forces to address the technical and technological issues you expect the study to encounter or are you seeking a generalist package of advice?
We see a requirement for specialist technical expertise in order to complete the review of network configuration and operations
Submission date is listed as Thursday 5th May â€“ is Wednesday the 5th of May or Thursday 6th of May.
Wednesday 5th May
Is it expected that the report will identify new services or products that could be provided by NorthernNet in addition to better provision of existing services?
Question 10: What level of detail is expected on recommendations on the SPV? Should this cover the scope of a SPV or will a more detailed financial and legal framework be required? We would have thought that this
might be a follow on piece of work, once a new business model was created. Response:
Scope, detail will be separate, once business model agreed.
Question 11: What level of detail is expected on the financial model? Are we looking at high level financial projections or a more detailed P+L and cashflow projection over multiple years (in which case we would need access to detailed historic and current costs). Response:
Model and projections, but with clear market evidence for the assumptions
Question 12: What level of detail is expected on the sales and marketing approach and strategy? Is this primarily a critique of the current approach and remedies, or a more detailed sales and marketing plan that would actually identify such things as routes to market, channel partners, product marketing concepts to be deployed and detailed sales and marketing budgets? Response:
Question 13: How open will the NWDA to be potentially highly innovative approaches to a new business that might involve very different products and services in different sectors, or a very substantial change to, for example, the current operating model for MABs? Response:
We welcome that
Question 14: How tied in are the current technology supplies and service contracts? Response:
For the purposes of this proposal, assume that current contracts can be determined
Question 15: Forward timescales - are you expecting the current contracts to run till April 2011 with the SPV kicking in after this date? Response:
Question 16: What assets will NorthernNet own after this date i.e. cable, kit, MABs etc. Response:
There is no â€˜NorthernNetâ€™ body at present. Detailed ownership of assets will be clear from contracts, which will be shared with preferred supplier
Question 17: What is the current ability for NorthernNet to connect to other networks and the internet (i.e. connected to any major PoPs)? Is there
provision planned to extend access to NorthernNet beyond the MABs i.e. could companies provision links to NorthernNet? Response:
This should form part of the study
Date of issue: 27 April 2010