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.
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June 16, 2021
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