The Quilt 2020 Commodity Internet Services RFP


One of the goals of The Quilt is to provide advanced network services at a lower cost. Toward this goal, the coalition of Quilt members and Authorized Quilt Buyers purchase Commodity Internet Services (CIS) through several approved CIS providers who participate in the program. The Quilt Community collectively purchases 1.5Tbps of committed commodity bandwidth from Authorized Quilt Providers established from The Quilt’s 11th RFP effort in 2020.

The Quilt’s 2020 Commodity Internet Service RFP Process

2020 CIS RFP Overview [PDF] (Revised 1/30/2020 – see Q&A for explanation)

Through the RFP process, our goal is to identify those providers who, through their IP transit Internet service offerings, are willing and able to be partners in the delivery and development of our research and education networks through the United States. We will look to our approved commodity Internet services providers for pricing discounts appropriate to our levels of bandwidth consumption. We seek provider partners who are not only able to provide the best value, but are also at the forefront of technology and are willing to work closely with Quilt members to develop and expand technology beyond that of a standard provider-customer relationship.

Schedule of RFP Activities

Event Date
RFP Release January 6, 2020 (Monday)
Non-Binding Letter of Intent to Respond Due January 22, 2020 (Wednesday)
Pre-RFP Q&A Conference Call 3:00 pm EST
202-850-0927 *no pin*
January 30, 2020 (Thursday)
Due Date for CIS RFP Submission to The Quilt (11:59 pm EST) February 19, 2020 (Wednesday)
CIS RFP Semi-Finalists Invited for Presentations March 30th, 2020 (Monday)
CIS RFP Semi-Finalist Presentations via Zoom April 14, 15 & 16 2020
(Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday)
Providers Selected to be CIS Authorized Quilt Provider (AQP) April 16, 2020 (Thursday)
CIS Master Services Agreement Signed Week of May 21, 2020
CIS AQP Now Authorized to Sell Under Quilt Pricing Agreement Upon MSA execution

The components of the 2020 RFP are linked here and include:

  1. CIS RFP Overview Document (doc)
  2. CIS RFP Essay (doc)
  3. CIS Provider Pricing Matrix (.xls)

If you have any questions regarding the documents or RFP process, please contact Sharon Akkoul:

The Quilt 2020 CIS RFP Q&A

Q: For locations on the PoP list that we don’t currently service, how do we note that we could consider building to that location based on negotiated costs and terms with the Authorized Quilt Provider?

A: Our preference is to see any negotiated build costs, etc be treated as a non-recurring charge so that the monthly-recurring charge can remain the same as offered program pricing to the other Authorized Quilt Buyers. 

Q: Will Quilt allow the option to deliver our DIA services over fixed wireless access? 

A: Feel free to include service provision by whatever means are available and preferred, along with corresponding SLAs, in your RFP response.

Q: Is there a place where a vendor may embellish on another service offering such security as part of the RFP response?  

A: You may submit other offerings in either a Microsoft Office Suite format, PDF, or on the optional pricing tab of the pricing worksheet. The preferred method is either Microsoft or PDF format.  

Q: Would an extension of the February 19th Due Date be considered?

A: No, The RFP process is on a tight timeline in order for Authorized Quilt Buyers to plan and make purchases. If there was a technical problem where all respondents were having an issue, we may consider but this is unlikely.  

Q: Could you please clarify the different length of Service Terms addressed in the RFP materials?  Is it 12 months or 24 months?  

A: There are two distinct types of service terms addressed in the RFP materials.  The first type is the end-user service term that is addressed in Items 2a) and 2b) in the Essay document and Pricing Matrix Excel Workbook.  These service terms reference the end user length of contract. A response to this RFP must address a pricing program with service terms of 12 months for the end user service agreement which is item 2a).  Optionally, a response may include pricing for other length of terms for an end user service agreement. The second type of service term is addressed in the Sample Master Service Agreement provided at the end of the RFP Overview document.  This refers to the length of term for the Agreement between The Quilt and an Authorized Quilt Provider. The requested length of term for an Agreement between The Quilt and an Authorized Quilt Provider is three years (36 month term). *Note that this is a correction to the original RFP document which states this as two years.*  A revised version of the Overview document is now available on The Quilt’s RFP page that correctly states the term of three years for the Agreement in Section One of the MSA.

Q: Based on a Master Service Agreement term length of 36 months, is The Quilt willing to sign amendments to this agreement over the course of the term length?

A:  Yes, The Quilt expects to sign amendments with its Authorized Quilt Providers on a regular basis as technology changes, new services become available, and the marketplace changes. 

Q: Is a vendor required to touch every address on the supplied PoP list in the Pricing Matrix Workbook? 

A: There are multiple locations listed on the PoP list. The intention is to understand the current reach of a  vendor’s network footprint. We understand that vendors upgrade infrastructure capacity upgrades and add new sites to the networks on a regular basis.  We are looking for a snapshot of the current footprint.

Q: If a vendor does not reach all locations on the Pop list, is this an automatic disqualification?

A: No, this is not an automatic disqualification.  All responses will be taken into consideration.

Q: If a current vendor already has aggregated bandwidth today, should they start with the lowest agregrated tier?

A: It is suggested to begin with your current aggregated bandwidth level.

Q: What if I’m having issues logging into my Basecamp account, uploading files, or need to add other team members?  

A:  For any Basecamp issues or questions, contact Tracey at 

Q: What if I have more questions on responding to the RFP?

A:  As noted in the RFP documents, questions may be sent to