It's been four years since Google Fiber has expanded into a new market. Most industry experts though that the Google Fiber "experiment" was likely over. But Google Fiber is back, and its coming to West Des Moines, Iowa.
Last week the City announced that Google Fiber will be the first tenant in a city-wide conduit network that will be built over the next four years. The $40 million city-owned conduit network will be financed using General Obligation Urban Renewal Capital Notes. Google Fiber will pay the City $2.25 per month for each fiber connection on the network and would be responsible for placing the fiber in the conduit to serve consumers.
In some ways the arrangement is similar to what has been done in Lincoln, Nebraska. In Lincoln the City built a conduit network and is leasing that conduit to CBAN provider member ALLO Communications so it can provide fiber-to-the-home services. But it's a new model of operations in Iowa where most city investment in broadband has come through construction and operation of a complete network, fiber and all.
City officials say that while Google Fiber will be the first occupant of the conduit network, it's arrangement is not exclusive.
There's been plenty of press about the announcement. Click on the links below to read more.
Des Moines Register: West Des Moines Set To Become Iowa's First Google Fiber City
Telecompetitor: "Google Fiber Awakens, Coming To Iowa"
Light Reading: "Google Fiber Returns to Expansion Mode Through City Pact"
It's interesting to note that despite the big media splash, West Des Moines residents will certainly not be among the first in Iowa to have gigabit fiber access. In fact, parts of West Des Moines and Waukee already have FTTP from Mi-Fiber, a subsidiary of GRM Networks. Other Iowa communities with access to gigabit+ fiber networks from municipal providers:
In addition to these, CBAN member ImOn Communications is building FTTP in Iowa City and Dubuque; MetroNet Fiber is building fiber networks in Ames, Davenport, and Bettendorf. And numerous small communities in Iowa are already served by fiber as a result of investment by independent telecommunications companies such as cooperatives and mutuals.
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