We are looking forward to the IAMU Broadband Conference on October 20-21, 2021 at the Stoney Creek Hotel in Johnston, Iowa. We hope you are too! BUT...if you are planning to attend and you haven't reserved a hotel room, you need to act very soon to save yourself some money.
The IAMU room block rate is $94.00 per night. When the hotel block expires on September 30th at 5pm, that rate will go up to $133.00 per night. We strongly encourage attendees to call Stoney Creek Hotel at (515) 334-9000 directly to reserve your room. DO NOT call the 800 number that was referenced earlier...that goes to a call center for the hotel's ownership group and they may have a hard time figuring out the block rate (as David Fridley from FARR Technologies learned the hard way...we owe him a beer for discovering the bug in the system!).
Of course, you also need to register for the IAMU Broadband Conference as well. We strongly encourage you to do that soon as well, as our great vendor community would like to know who to expect at the show. CLICK HERE to go to the attendee registration page at the IAMU website.
Exhibit Spaces Still Available!!!
If you are a company that markets products and services to the municipal broadband space, we'd love to have you be a part of the IAMU Broadband Conference! And there is still room on our trade show floor for you tabletop display! CLICK HERE to register as a sponsor or exhibitor...we'd love to have you there.
P.S. - Your competitors may already be registered...check out the growing. list HERE.
IAMU Broadband Conference Presenting Sponsor
Mediacom, which is suing the City of West Des Moines over the city's $50 million conduit project, is now talking settlement with the City.
As outlined in an article at Cablefax.com, extensions on court actions and FCC comments were both extended at the request of the parties. West Des Moines currently has a deal with Google Fiber to be the exclusive user of the city-owned conduit network for six months after completion. That exclusivity period was originally 18 months but was shortened after the Mediacom lawsuit was filed.
CBAN is proud to welcome a new Associate Member, ETI Software Solutions, to our growing network!
ETI Software (www.etisoftware.com) has been a staple in the broadband industry, providing OSS and BSS solutions for nearly 30 years. Adapting to new technologies is a key differentiator of ETI Software; regardless of the mix of network topographies, ETI’s broadband service management software provides a single point of control, enabling solutions that deliver new insights and more personalized customer engagements spanning the full subscriber lifecycle. ETI’s solutions help broadband providers simplify device and application integration, subscriber and service activation to reduce costs, improve customer experiences and roll out next-generation services faster and easier. ETI’s mission is to offer enterprise-level capabilities to providers of all sizes to bridge the digital divide and prioritize digital equality.
ETI Software is proud to be a member of CBAN and invites you to learn more at etisoftware.com.
The CBAN community continues to grow! We'd like to welcome Spectrum Planners as a new associate member of CBAN!
Spectrum Planning, Inc. provides planning innovation, field engineering, system designs and innovative mapping services. An extensive history of successful implementation and execution coupled with their collaborative and customizable approach can help you exceed the expectations of your customers.
The continued education and professional experience of Spectrum Planning's staff provides you with the resources you need to complete any successful project.
Let Spectrum Planning put their combined 174 + years of experience to work for you today.
The voters of Hawarden, Iowa have spoken - one of Iowa's first municipal telecommunications utilities will remain in the hands of citizens.
A referendum was held yesterday to approve the sale of HiTec, the city telecommunications utility, to Premiere Communications of Sioux Center. Unofficial results released by the Sioux County Auditors Office show that just 39.3% of the voters approved of the sale, well short of the simple majority needed to move forward.
City leadership in Hawarden had soured on continuing to run HiTec which was among the first Iowa municipal telecoms and the first to provide telephone service. They even advocated for a change in state law that allowed them to obtain only one appraisal for the hybrid fiber-coaxial network.
The City had received two bids for the purchase, if authorized by voters. Long Lines, the company that Hawarden has used for an operating partner since its launch, bid $3.15 million for the network. Premiere, which already competes with HiTEC in Hawarden, bid $2.75 million.
Patty Anderson, the former Hawarden Telecommunications Manager during the 1990's, wrote an empassioned letter to the editor of the Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner in advance of the vote.
If HiTec is sold, you will never get it back. You will be left with one company to rely on forever. DON’T APPROVE THE SALE OF HITEC — VOTE NO SEPTEMBER 14! -- Patty Anderson, former HiTec Telecommunications Manager
Hawarden is not the only Iowa municipal facing the threat of dissolution. A small cadre of critics in Harlan are forcing a vote authorizing the sale of that community's municipal fiber-to-the-home network in November.
The Harlan ballot issue reads as follows: “Should the Board of Trustees of Harlan Municipal Utilities, City of Harlan, in the County of Shelby, State of Iowa, be authorized to discontinue and dispose of the municipally-owned communications utility by sale?” Even if that referendum receives the requisite 50% it does not mandate a sale, and HMU Board members have indicated no interest in removing the network from public ownership.
Three of Iowa's municipal telecommunications utilities were successful bidders in the latest round of funding from the Iowa Broadband Grant program. Awards totaling $97.5 million were announced by the Iowa OCIO office today.
Cedar Falls Utilities was the largest recipient of funds for a municipal utility. Approximately $2.34 million in grant funds will support the CFU fiber network buildout in rural areas west and north of Cedar Falls.
Manning Municipal Utilities will receive $2.2 million to build fiber-to-the-home in rural areas around Manning, which recently completed a fiber rebuild of its network in Manning.
Muscatine Power and Water's grant award of $550,000 will support FTTP in areas east of Muscatine.
Grant applications by Osage Municipal Utilities and Vinton Municipal Communications Utility did not receive funding. With one exception, every funded project was either an independent telecommunications cooperative/mutual or municipal utility.
Larger companies did not fare well in the process. Mediacom and Windstream's applications for fiber builds in several areas were passed over, along with fixed wireless proposals from Mediacom and AMG Technology.
ALLO Expands to Arizona
CBAN member ALLO Communications, a major fiber overbuilder in Nebraska and Colorado, has announced its first project in the state of Arizona. ALLO will begin construction in Lake Havasu City, Arizona in 2022. The $50 million project will bring 10-gig capable service to the western Arizona city of 54,000. A popular vacation destination, the city sits on Lake Havasu, a reservoir on the Colorado River.
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Live on the CBAN YouTube Page
The CBAN team will host a discussion with Christopher Ali, author of the upcoming book "Farm Fresh Broadband - The Politics of Rural Connectivity". Ali's book features an analysis of the failure of U.S. broadband policy to solve the rural-urban digital divide and offers proposals for a new national rural broadband plan. We look forward to visiting with Christopher and sharing his perspectives of how to bring better broadband to more Americans!
Providers who submitted 178 applications for funding under the latest round of the Iowa Broadband Grant Program are anxiously awaiting news from the Iowa OCIO office.
The latest round of funding, NOFA#006, has a budget of $97.5 million that was allocated by the Iowa Legislature to expand broadband access in rural Iowa. Nearly $300 million in applications were submitted by the July 28th deadline, meaning many providers will be disappointed when the winners are announced.
Under the original schedule of NOFA#006, that announcement was scheduled to be made on Friday, September 3rd, but the OCIO did specify that this date was "anticipated". Once announced, the OCIO will move forward quickly to execute grant agreements with the winning applicants.
Several municipal utilities in Iowa were among the applicants.
CLICK HERE to see a map showing the proposed coverage areas for all of the applications.
The City of Fort Dodge is moving forward with plans for a $37 million fiber-to-the-home project. Construction on the network, which will make multi-gigabit internet service available to every home and business in Fort Dodge, will begin next summer.
A key milestone in the project was achieved in August when the City approved financing for the project. The City was committed to this being a local project and that was reflected by the strong community investment with local financial institutions. Bank Iowa (out of their Humboldt branch) is leading the loan syndicate for the $33.355 million capital expenditure loan to be used for network construction and equipment. That syndicate is joined by participation from United Bank of Iowa (Fort Dodge branch), Green State Credit Union (Fort Dodge), First State Bank (Fort Dodge), Great Western Bank (Fort Dodge), Security Savings Bank (Gowrie) and Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust. Peoples Credit Union (out of their Fort Dodge branch) is financing an additional $3.480 million in working capital to launch utility operations.
The support of seven local participating lenders, including both lead institutions, demonstrates the strong institutional support of the City’s planned project and an indication of the City staff and Council’s detailed business planning efforts to date.
With financing arranged, final engineering and design work is now underway. HR Green, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based engineering firm who conducted high-level design work as part of the City’s feasibility study, will prepare the plans, specifications, and bidding documents.
The City is separately procuring bids for materials that will be needed on the project, such as fiber cables, conduits, and other items. Contracts for those materials will be awarded this September.
The goal is for the construction project to go to bid in late spring of 2022 with construction beginning in the summer. Construction of the network will take until the end of 2024 to be completed, but some customers could be hooked up as soon as mid-2023. Once completed, the mostly underground fiber network will pass every home and business in the Fort Dodge city limits.
Broadband Bytes News
Presented by the Community Broadband Action Network and curated by Curtis Dean.