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PBS Opens Request for Prequalification Process for Public Television’s Interconnection System
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Interested Parties Can Express Interest through May 19

Prequalification Precedes RFP to Be Issued This Summer

Arlington, VA, May 17, 2016 – PBS announced today the start of a pre-qualification phase that will precede a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) process for public television’s next interconnection system. Beginning immediately, companies have through May 19 to express their interest in participating in the Request for Prequalification (RFPQ) by emailing and subsequently completing a short “intention to submit” form. After receiving this form, PBS will ask potential vendors to fill out a questionnaire to establish the alignment of capabilities with the scope of the RFP. The overall RFPQ process is expected to conclude by the end of June. Only organizations that meet the requirements of the prequalification phase will be invited to participate in the full RFP, which will be released this summer. A team comprised of a number of public television stakeholders will evaluate the RFPQ survey responses. 

The RFPQ, which is being managed by Deloitte, will be of interest to organizations with the technology, qualifications and experience necessary to meet the requirements of one of the nation’s largest media distribution systems. The key elements of the new interconnection platform will include broadband connectivity, content storage, products and services related to content distribution and metadata, as well as service integration. The upgraded infrastructure must be able to support more than 100 sites with both local and joint master control, and make use of cloud technology. 

“Public television’s interconnection system is vitally important to the entire public television community. We want to make sure that this project benefits from innovative thinking and best-in-class products from across the industry,” said PBS Chief Technology Officer Mario Vecchi. “The RFPQ allows us to cast a wide net while also moving quickly and effectively to deploy a cost-efficient and scalable system that streamlines station operations and supports business models of the future.”

PBS manages the interconnection system on behalf of public television as a whole. This technology infrastructure delivers thousands of hours of content from producers and distributors to stations across the nation that in turn provide this content to local communities on a variety of platforms. As the backbone of public television’s content delivery, the interconnection system is being restructured to ensure efficiency, reliability and to take advantage of changes in technology. The current interconnection platform makes it possible for stations to receive content from national distributors such as PBS, American Public Television, the National Education Television Association, as well as from 20 or more of their peer local stations. 

In partnership with public television’s key stakeholders, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), stations across the country and national public media organizations, PBS will begin deployment of the new system at the end of 2016. Prior to opening the RFPQ, PBS, stations and NPR participated in extensive proof-of-concept testing that helped establish the system and business requirements that will be further developed through the RFP process. 


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Jan McNamara / 703-739-5028