Small Iowa town’s telecom utility long time coming (Institute for Local Self-Reliance) July 8, 2013

Waverly, a town of 10,000 in Iowa, decided to create a city owned telecommunications utility with a successful referendum vote in 2000 but has only recently decided to move forward with a major investment to offer services. Mike Litterer, Interim General Manager of Waverly Light and Power, joins us to discuss the project.

For East Iowa schools, high speed internet about more than plugging in (The Gazette) July 10, 2013

When it comes to education, the Internet is the new black.

On July 1, the education reform package that the Iowa Department of Education has hailed as “historic” became law. That legislation includes broadening Iowa Learning Online, an Internet-based system that allows students to take classes that aren’t available in their home districts.

Commission rejects bids for purchase of Iowa Communications Network, but vote isn’t binding (Des Moines Register) June 26, 2013

A state commission on Wednesday voted to reject two bids from a West Des Moines company to purchase the Iowa Communications Network.

State rejects bids to purchase fiber optic network (Sioux City Journal) June 26, 2013

A state commission unanimously rejected two offers to buy the statewide communications network Wednesday, leaving the fiber-optic network under state control for the immediate future.

Community Fiber Network possible in Waverly twelve years after vote (Community Broadband Networks) June 24, 2013

The Waverly City Council in Iowa recently voted 5-2 to establish a communications utility and to move ahead with a feasibility study. We spoke with Diane Johnston, Waverly Light and Power (WLP) General Manager, who told us the decision to get this far started over a decade ago.

Treynor to expand high speed internet availability (Southwest Iowa News) June 14, 2013

Treynor Mayor Bryce Polland believes that mantra, so he banded with fellow residents to push for better web access in his town, with a group approaching Spiral Communications of Glenwood for help. The company plans to install fiber optic cables throughout Treynor proper and broaden wireless access to surrounding rural areas.

Cedar Falls Utility launches state’s fastest internet service (Community News Paper Group) June 3, 2013

Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU) launches internet service at 1 gigabit per second (GBPS) today, making Cedar Falls the first and only Iowa community on the nation’s short list of gigabit cities.

Cedar Falls Utilities launches Iowa’s fastest internet service (Broadband Communities) May 28, 2013

Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU), which provides broadband communications, electricity, water and natural gas services to homes and businesses in Cedar Falls, Iowa, has launched Internet service at 1 gigabit per second (GBPS), making Cedar Falls the first and only Iowa community on the nation’s short list of gigabit cities.

Cedar Falls Utilities takes on CenturyLink with 1 Gbps service (Fierce Telecom) May 30, 2013

Iowa’s Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU) has become the latest municipal provider to offer a 1 Gbps fiber to the premises (FTTP) service, challenging CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) with a much higher speed that the telco can’t yet match.

Cedar Falls residents can join Iowa’s first gigabit network for $275/mo (Silicon Prairie News) May 28, 2013

Today Cedar Falls becomes the first city in Iowa to make the national shortlist of “gigabit cities”-locations where gigabit Internet service is available. Cedar Falls Utilities announced the high-speed Internet would be available to businesses and homes via the city’s fiber optic network.

Emmetsburg on its way to community owned fiber network (Community Broadband Networks) April 10, 2013

Flash back to May 5, 1998 and the community of Emmetsburg, Iowa. This town of just under 4,000 people voted to establish a municipal cable communications or television system. It has taken fifteen years, but Emmetsburg is on the verge of joining the many other Iowa communities with municipal networks. Jane Whitmore of the Emmetsburg News reported on April 2 that the City Council adopted Ordinance #577, establishing the Board of Trustees of the Emmetsburg Municipal Communications Utility.

Cedar Falls utility gets high bond rating from Moody’s (Community Broadband Networks) March 19, 2013

We have long been impressed with Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU) in Iowa. They built an incredibly successful municipal cable network that has now been upgraded to a FTTH network. CFU transfers $1.6 million into the town’s general fund every year, reminding us that community owned networks often pay far more in taxes than the national cable and telephone companies.

$25,000 Google grant will fund Iowa technology competition ( March 14, 2013

A grant from Google Inc. will fund a new technology competition at Iowa Western Community College this May.

Linn-Mar schools buy into city’s fiber optic network (Marion Times) March 13, 2013

At its February 25 school board meeting, the Linn-Mar Board voted to purchase the fiber optics network which the district uses and which ImOn Communications had constructed in 2008.

US Representative congratulates Iowa community for muni network (Community Broadband Networks) March 9, 2013

Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA), recently recognized the city of Indianola on the US House Floor to recognize the community’s municipal network. On February 15th, he spoke to the body about Indianola’s recent certification as Connected by Connected Nation and Connected Iowa.

Iowa is selling one of the oldest government-owned fiber optic networks (Motherboard) February 26, 2013

Right now, Iowa operates one of the nation’s oldest government-run fiber-optic telecom networks. The Iowa Communications Network (ICN) was built in 1989, covers 8,600 miles, and cost $320 million to get off the ground. It serves tens of thousands of Iowans, and 79 percent of the internet it provides is used by educational entities. It is also for sale, a move towards privatization that’s been in the works since 2011.

Public safety officials preview nationwide broadband network capabilities (Radio Iowa) February 19, 2013

Public safety officials from around the state are learning more about the high-tech future of responding to fires, traffic crashes and other emergencies.

A Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN), authorized by Congress a year ago, is now under development. Demonstrations of how the infrastructure could be used are taking place this month at the Iowa Department of Public Safety headquarters in Des Moines.

Iowa broadband system raises questions about government’s role (Sioux City Journal) February 10, 2013

The Iowa Communications Network went up for sale Wednesday with a 172-page request seeking private companies to buy or lease the government-built statewide broadband system.

HIE meets fiber optic technology (Journal of AHIMA) January 25, 2013

Fiber optics have brought a new level of health information exchange to providers in the upper Midwest. A 3,200-mile long fiber optic network provides the communication backbone to HealthNet connect, LC (HNc), a hard-wired health information exchange (HIE) network that spans the state of Iowa…

…HNc has plans to include new members to their network in Colorado, Nebraska, and Illinois, expanding to include other specialties such as home healthcare providers.

County and state partner for local connectivity in Iowa (Community Broadband Networks) January 16, 2013

In 2010, the Iowa Communications Network received a $16.2 million Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). The project will connect all 99 counties in the state by upgrading an existing 3,000 mile network (PDF of the project summary). The state plans to bring 10 Gbps capacity points of presence to each county and to provide 1 Gbps service to about 1,000 anchor institutions. The project will be managed by the state’s Department of Transportation, which will be using fiber primarily for traffic management.

Supervisors approve fiber optic agreement with state DOT (Ames Tribune) January 9, 2013

The Story County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today to enter into an agreement with the Iowa Department of Transportation that would give the county part of a 72-strand fiber optic array being built by the state.


Co-ops make rural broadband possible (Electric Co-op Today) December 17, 2012

“The Internet is not going away,” Todd Pealock said in explaining why his electric cooperative is helping bring it closer to rural consumers.City, county and DMU could share information quicker with fiber optic intranet (Southwest Iowa News) November 15, 2012

A fiber optic intranet being investigated by the City of Denison, Crawford County and Denison Municipal Utilities (DMU) would allow the three entities to share information quicker and in larger documents.

Municipal broadband communications utility audit report released (Storm Lake Pilot Tribune) October 12, 2012

Auditor of State, David A Vaudt, has released an audit report on the Alta Municipal Broadband Communications Utility in Alta. This report includes the cash receipts and disbursement activities of the Alta Municipal Broadband Communications Utility and other information.

Iowa, Minnesota add rural and municipal broadband (CivSource) August 13, 2012

Indianola Municipal Utilities (IMU) of Indianola, Iowa has announced that it will start offering its ownmunicipal fiber system starting on October 1. The network will be offered at a higher speed and lower price point than other service providers in the area, and will go by the name Mahaska Communication Group. In Minnesota, the Blandin Foundation announced $2.4 million in grants to support improvements including increased broadband access throughout rural Minnesota.

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