Pella could become the latest Iowa community to authorize a municipal telecommunications utility as voters head to the polls in a special election on May 1st.
Proposition A reads “Shall the City of Pella, in the County of Marion, State of Iowa, be authorized to establish a Municipally-Owned telecommunications utility?”. The issue was approved by the Pella City Council during a special meeting on March 12, 2018.
If authorized by voters, the city is expected to move forward with a feasibility study, having already solicited RFP's for companies to perform a study earlier this year.
There have been three municipal broadband elections in Iowa since 2015. In November 2015, voters in Decorah voted by a margin of 93% to 7% for municipal telecom and Vinton's referendum passed 88 to 12 percent the same day. A year ago, Adair made it unanimous with 100% voter approval of their referendum.
The 8th annual IAMU Broadband Conference is in the books.
Over 140 people (attendees and vendor representatives) enjoyed two days of learning and networking at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Urbandale.
Broadband Vanguard Awards
IAMU honored two individuals and one organization for outstanding support and service to municipal broadband during the inaugural Broadband Vanguard Awards held on Thursday, March 22, 2018. IAMU Executive Director Troy DeJoode presented each of the winners with a certificate during the awards ceremony.
Approximately 40 people from 15 communities in Iowa attended the Community Broadband Summit held Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Urbandale, Iowa. The Summit was presented by the Community Broadband Action Network and sponsored by Farr Technologies and HR Green.
The purpose of the Summit was to educate community leaders and advocates about their options to pursue municipal broadband as a way to improve broadband access, speed, reliability, and quality in their towns. In addition to communities that are exploring community broadband, representatives of several of Iowa's "veteran" broadband utilities - Algona, Osage, and Spencer - participated to provide support for new communities.
The Community Broadband Action Network (CBAN) was established to provide a collaborative network and marketplace for communities, community-based broadband providers, and solutions providers. CBAN’s goal is to provide pathways for successful action by communities that want to guarantee fast, affordable, reliable, and universally-available broadband access to their citizens.
When fully operational, CBAN will increase the number of communities exploring how to impact their broadband options by:
Keep watching for more details about CBAN in future issues of Broadband Bytes!
Submitted by Presenting Sponsor Power & Tel
Few industries today are as dynamic and exciting as wireless communications. Every day, customers find new frontiers with technology. Businesses find more ways to remain relevant and competitive in the marketplace.
At Power & Tel, we know your focus is on delivering excellent wireless accessibility to your customers. As more and more people rely on wireless networks to stay in touch with loved ones, conduct their business, obtain their education, and enjoy countless other benefits of today’s technology, the demands on systems and infrastructure will only become more complex. This is why we are so excited about the 2018 IAMU Broadband Conference happening March 21-22.
We have a stellar line-up planned for you. Our industry-leading network of manufacturers and our supply of world-class brands and products are always reliable, top quality, and cost effective. Our experts on hand will include representation from these Featured Solutions:
Come by, say hi and let us know what products and solutions you’re most interested in. Also, be sure to enter to WIN our GRILL giveaway, click here to pre-enter or enter to win onsite.
Solving supply chain challenges amid the convergence of multiple platforms is our core strength. With Power & Tel as your partner, your network always delivers.
If you would like more information on Power & Tel (Link to Corporate Brochure), our featured solutions or additional products and services, please contact Mike.Brems@ptsupply.com Click to download my vCard
The 8th Annual IAMU Broadband Conference is just a few days away, and we're putting the finishing touches on what promises to be one of our best conferences ever!
When you check in you'll be given a printed program. If you'd like to see the conference schedule in grid format, CLICK HERE (PDF).
Sponsors and Exhibitors
It looks like our exhibit hall will be almost full during the Vendor Show on Wednesday, March 21st. Here is the list of exhibitors as of today, with just a couple of tables open. A final vendor map will be provided at check-in.
Silver Sponsors: Finley Engineering & ICAN, Inc.
Breakfast Sponsor: Consortia Consulting
Exhibiting Vendors (in addition to sponsors)
We'll have 4 hospitality rooms this year, beginning at 7:00pm after the Vendor Reception. All of the rooms are in the same general location on the ground floor (lower level) and not in guest rooms. Thank you to the hospitality sponsors
The early bird gets the worm. In this case, the worm is a standard guest room at the Holiday Inn & Suites for just $65 a night in conjunction with the IAMU Broadband Conference.
IAMU's room block for the conference expires at the end of the day today (Friday, March 9th). After that, rooms will still be available at the Conference hotel but at a much high rate.
Haven't registered for the IAMU Broadband Conference yet? There's still time. Just go to the Events page at www.iamu.org and find the Broadband Conference on the list of upcoming IAMU events. You will want to use your IAMU membership user name and password when you register so you get member rates.
The merger of Discovery Communications and Scripps Networks is almost complete. And with the merger comes yet another example of a major programming conglomerate deciding to bypass cable and go over the top (OTT) with a streaming bundle of their channels.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the new direct-to-consumer content bundle will cost "as little as" $6.00 a month and will include 19 channels from the new merged content company, including both live and archived content. The announcement comes just a few months after Disney announced its own package of streaming services that will include both archived and original content, including a new series based on the Star Wars universe. The new Disney service, which is said to not include ESPN content, is expected to debut in 2019.
As more and more programming conglomerates go over the top, it will be interesting to see the impact on consumer's interest in traditional pay TV packages. In case you're wondering, the NCTC master agreement for Discovery Communications urns through 12/31/2021 and the Scripps Networks deal goes until 9/30/2020.
On a 49-0 vote today, the Iowa Senate approved Senate File 2355 which authorizes a complete audit and appraisal of the Iowa Communications Network. The bill now moves to the Iowa House for consideration.
An earlier version of the bill would have (once again) directed state officials to try to sell the ICN. The final version approved this week instead orders State Auditor Mary Mosiman or an independent third party selected by her to conduct the audit and appraisal. This year's activity regarding the ICN was spurred by the disclosure that former ICN executive director Ric Lumbard had misspent $380,000 during his tenure.
The Des Moines Register has a good review of the legislation. CLICK HERE to read the article.
To read the complete text of SF 2355, CLICK HERE
City council members and city staff in Belmond, Iowa are sifting through the final report from their recent Community Broadband Engagement and Education Project. The study, conducted by SmartSource Consulting (the author of this blog) found strong support for the concept of a community-owned fiber network in the Wright County town of 2,376. Next steps in the broadband evaluation include a referendum followed by a detailed feasibility study with a preliminary design, cost estimate, and business case.
CLICK HERE to read a story about the report in the Belmond Independent.
The final report for Belmond is available at www.ourbroadbandfuture.com/belmond.html.
Due to speaker availability, we've made a modification to Day Two of the IAMU Broadband Conference.
The new session on March 22nd will be held at 9:30am in Salon C. During "WHY and HOW of Fixed Wireless Broadband", you'll hear from an IAMU member (Eric Lage, Reinbeck) that significantly changed its bottom line within the past 18 months by launching fixed wireless internet to underserved areas around their community. Also on the panel will be Ryan Malek of Router 12 Networks, who worked with Reinbeck to deploy their system and who operates a successful wireless ISP of his own; as well as Tom Gruba with Telrad, who would talk about how fixed 4G wireless can solve for line of sight issues.
For a revised version of the agenda, CLICK HERE (PDF). A detailed conference program will be provided during conference check in.
Broadband Bytes News
Curated by Curtis Dean, SmartSource Consulting
The Broadband Bytes Blast is emailed to subscribers every Friday afternoon.