Fast, affordable Internet access for all.
Dubuque Considers Its Telecom Options
The northwest Iowa community of about 2,500 people more than a decade ago built a $4 million cable system, only to be temporarily shut down by an Iowa Supreme Court injunction. Hawarden survived the court's order prohibiting municipalities from being in the telecommunications business, and in many respects blazed the trail for publicly run cable, Internet and phone service in Iowa.More communities may be considering building their own networks (though they will build now with fiber rather than HFC) following Iowa's statewide franchising rules that preempt local authority, giving greater power to private cable companies. The way it was written, existing franchise agreements may be nullified if a competitor announces plans to serve the community. Fortunately, many Iowa communities voted to formed telecommunications utilities back in 2005, though few have yet exercised that authority. Unfortunately, the article's author was clearly misled by either Qwest or Mediacom's public relations flacks because he wrote about UTOPIA, as though the problems of a purely open access model under a different regulatory environment poses important lessons for communities in Iowa that may build their own networks. The successes and failures of UTOPIA teach us very little about how Iowa communities should move forward. Smaller Iowa communities do have a serious disadvantage - building modern networks is very difficult the smaller they get. Below 5,000 subscribers, it can be difficult to make the network pay for itself (though exceptions exist) - suggesting to me that joint efforts combining communities could be a good option. Unfortunately, though the technology has no problems crossing political boundaries, the politics are much more difficult.
Open Access Conduit in West Des Moines, Iowa Brings Google Fiber, Choice to City Residents
Waterloo, Iowa Voters GO Forward with Municipal Fiber Network
Georgia CPF Funds Go Mostly to Big Incumbents; Cooperatives Share Leftovers
Nearly $1 Billion in Rescue Plan Funds Heads to Six States
Trailblazing Ashland Fiber Network (AFN) Faces Its Fiber Future
Ashland, Oregon has long been a trailblazer in terms of meeting community demand for faster, more affordable broadband access. The city-owned network has also had a bumpy road—at times being branded as an example of municipal broadband failure. But the network continues to grow as it faces down an urgently-needed pivot toward a fiber-based future. Despite the current economic healthiness of the network and the clear benefits it’s brought to the community over the last twenty years, local officials are talking about divesting instead of making the financial commitment to continue the investment the city has already made.
Waterloo Set to Vote on Funding for Municipal Fiber Network
The City of Waterloo, Iowa has been flirting with the idea of building a municipal fiber network since 2005 when voters approved the creation of a municipal utility service. Voters said yes to the concept then but were not asked to put any money behind it.