The Waterloo, Iowa City Council has unanimously approved a $2.5M contract with Magellan Advisors to design a city-wide fiber network.
The engineering project will be paid for out of the city's allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Broadband is one of the investments that the law allows.
Waterloo has been considering a municipal broadband utility off and on since 2005, when a referendum to authorize a utility was approved. After lying fallow for several years, the issue came back to the forefront a few years ago as a top priority for Waterloo's mayor. They hired Magellan to conduct a feasibility study, then to design a fiber backbone consisting of 40 miles of fiber to connect city facilities. The full design will include over 300 miles of fiber routes.
If Waterloo succeeds in funding and building a fiber network, it would become Iowa's largest municipal telecom system, pushing its neighbor to the west - Cedar Falls Utilities - to second largest.
CLICK HERE to read more about Waterloo's latest developments in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.
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