The Dubuque City Council continues to talk about possible next steps toward municipal broadband in the northeast Iowa city of 58,000.
Last night the council discussed whether to add broadband to the list of topics to be addressed during their annual planning session in August. A local citizen group, "Campaign for DBQ Municipal Internet" has been working for several months to convince the City to study the issue more closely. They advocate for a feasibility study to consider the costs and benefits of a community-owned fiber optic network that would reach every home and business.
Dubuque has been working for the past several years with private partners to expand fiber connectivity in the city. A network of city-owned conduit has been accessed by private partners to connect in some areas, but has primarily served businesses. The Campaign for DBQ Municipal Internet says better broadband is needed community wide, and says the repeal of net neutrality is a primary driver for their efforts.
To learn more about yesterday's meeting, CLICK HERE to watch TV coverage from KCRG-TV.
Several Iowa communities continue to make progress toward the creation of community-owned fiber broadband networks. Vinton, New Hampton, Charles City, Decorah, Adel, and Pella are all at various stages along the spectrum.
Farthest along in the process are Vinton, New Hampton, and Charles City. All three have conducted feasibility studies that showed a municipal fiber network was viable, and all three are now headed toward hiring an engineering firm for design engineering and to begin th e process of developing financing options. It is possible that all three communities will break ground on networks in 2019.
Decorah, whose feasbility study was widely panned for its conclusions and analysis, is working to develop a modified financial model and conduct a more detailed measurement of community interest in the project. As you may have heard, a recent effort to municipalize the electric utility in Decorah failed at the ballot by a mere 4 votes, allowing the community to focus its attention on better broadband.
Adair, whose referendum received unanimous approval in March 2017, is continuing efforts to build a fiber network in partnership with Casey Mutual Telephone. Next steps for Adair include development of a business plan and financing options, along with an agreement with Casey Mutual.
Pella's referendum was approved by a resounding 93% of voters last month. Their next steps include market research and development of a business plan.
For operators utilizing one of the variations of the DOCSIS cable modem platform to provide internet service, you'll want to participate in the next training provided by the Iowa Heartland Chapter of the SCTE.
All Things DOCSIS will be led by two expert instructors from Cisco - Benjamin Brodfuehrer and Russ Widener. They will cover all current iterations of DOCSIS being used in the field today, including 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1.
The training will be held on Wednesday, June 6th and Thursday, June 7th. The live presentation on Wednesday the 6th will be held at the IAMU Office and Training Complex in Ankeny, with remote sites being hosted by Cedar Falls Utilities and Algona Municipal Utilities for the morning session. On Thursday the 7th the training will be repeated (morning and afternoon sessions) at Kirkwood Community College in Hiawatha.
Complete details on the training and signup information is available at www.iowaheartlandscte.org/events--training.html
Broadband Bytes News
Presented by the Community Broadband Action Network and curated by Curtis Dean.