Two of Iowa's first municipal telecommunications utilities-and one of its most recent projects-have joined CBAN as Provider Members.
Cedar Falls Utilities began offering broadband services over their hybrid fiber-coaxial network (HFC) in the late 1990's. As customer demand for internet grew, CFU rebuilt their entire community with fiber-to-the-home in the 2010's. And just last year, CFU became one of the first networks in the country to offer 10 Gbps services to any customer that wanted or needed it.
Manning Municipal Utilities has offered telecommunications even longer than Cedar Falls, having built and operated a legacy cable TV system in the 1980's. MMU rebuilt their network to HFC in the early 2000's, and are just completing their rebuild to fiber.
Waverly Utilities operates a fiber-to-the-home network in their northeast Iowa community. The project was launched in 2016 - 16 years after voters approved a municipal telecommunications referendum. Waverly continues to grow its customer base at a steady pace.
These municipal broadband providers are great role models for any community looking to bring better broadband to their citizens. They show that communities large and small can take control of their future by investing in vital infrastructure. Welcome aboard!
Vinton Fiber Project is a GO
After years of advocacy by residents and careful study, a community-owned fiber network in Vinton, Iowa is finally moving forward.
On March 12th, the Vinton Municipal Electric Utility Board of Trustees, which also serves as the governing board for the communications utility authorized by voters in late 2015, voted 5-0 to approve bids totalling approximately $6.5 million for the FTTP project. Overall bids came in just under the original engineer's estimates.
Nearly 40 Vinton citizens attended the Board meeting, despite a winter storm that raged outside and closed major roads into and out of town. There were lots of smiling faces when the Board's unanimous vote was cast, followed quickly by excited determination to get started on all of the many tasks needed to bring the network online by the end of 2019 or early 2020.
The bids were accepted contingent to final financing details, which are expected to be wrapped up over the next several weeks. Central Cable Contractors will be the lead contractor for the outside plant. Construction is expected to begin in early summer, with the goal to have most of the feeder & distribution network completed by the end of year.
By the end of the year, the City of Rock Falls plans to complete the first phase of a multi-phase effort to bring fiber-to-the-home to the Illinois city of 9,266.
The first phase of the project was to build fiber in the city's business corridor and should be wrapped up this month. Already a number of businesses have connected to the network and are enjoying internet speeds of up to a gigabit.
Up next, the project will move to residential areas of the city. Adopting a process invented by Google Fiber and replicated in several other cities, the City has divided their time up into "fiberhoods" and will deploy the network in areas as they gain enough service committments to justify the expense.
CLICK HERE to read a story about the project at SaukValley.com.
SCTE Training: All Things Fiber Optics
The Iowa Heartland Chapter of the SCTE has a great training scheduled in November, and we'd encourage municipals and other broadband providers to send their technical staffs to learn more about "All Things Fiber".
The training will be held on Tuesday, November 7th at IAMU in Ankeny and Wednesday, November 8th at Kirkwood Community College in Hiawatha. On each day there will be a morning session and an afternoon session; attendees need only attend ONE session at ONE location.
To make it even more convenient, two Iowa municipals - Cedar Falls Utilities and Muscatine Power & Water - are hosting remote sessions on Tuesday, November 7th. Both the AM and PM sessions that day will be "broadcast" live from Ankeny and shown at CFU and MPW via webinar.
Morning sessions at each site (live or remote) are from 8:30am to 11:30pm and afternoon sessions are from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.
The training will be led by Ron Grigsby with RDG Telecom. Here's the scheduled agenda:
The cost is just $10 for SCTE members and $15 for non-members. Even better, the Iowa chapter can directly bill your organization for the attendees you send so no credit cards are required.
To register, CLICK HERE or go to http://www.iowaheartlandscte.org/events--training.html for all the details. Managers, you can click the link multiple times if you'd like to register multiple employees. We'd love to see a great turnout for this, our final training session of the year!
Broadband Bytes News
Presented by the Community Broadband Action Network and curated by Curtis Dean.