Two members of the Iowa House Government Oversight Committee think that selling the Iowa Communications Network (ICN) is a bad idea, despite the controversy over improper expenditures by it's now-fired director.
In a taping of Iowa Public Television's "Iowa Press", Rep. Bobby Kauffman (R-Wilton) and Rep. Vicki Lensing (D-Iowa City) agreed that the valuable service the ICN provides to Iowa schools and other authorized users makes a sale problematic.
Then Rep. Kaufmann mentioned something that would be of interest to Broadband Bytes readers:
Kaufmann indicated leasing the fiber optic lines to cities or counties might be an option, so municipal utilities could use the network to serve far more local customers, “to be able to get fiber optic network out to rural Iowa.”
Allowing more authorized users of the ICN - including municipal utilities - has been somewhat of a third rail in Iowa politics over the years - touch it and you die. But if the ICN sale bill doesn't become law, Kauffman's comments may present an opening for municipal utilities seeking alternative middle mile options.
CLICK HERE to read a story about the comments from Radio Iowa.
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June 16, 2021
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