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Small Iowa Town’s Telecom Utility Long Time Coming: Broadband Bits #53

| Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jul 8, 2013 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/small-iowa-town-telecom-utility/
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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.

Following the vote, the cable and telephone company suddenly decided to upgrade their services, which led the town to hold off on a community owned network. But over time, those companies failed to upgrade the networks and Waverly again finds itself struggling with inadequate access.

He explains why Waverly believes it will struggle to bring new jobs to town unless it has a better network – the economic development director of the town hears that directly from businesses making siting decisions.

Waverly already had a ring and leased dark fiber but is now moving forward on a more ambitious project to allow it to thrive in the digital economy. We previously wrote about Waverly on MuniNetworks.org.

Read ongoing coverage related to these networks at ILSR’s site devoted to Community Broadband Networks.  You can also subscribe to a once-per-week email with stories about community broadband networks.

 

 

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About Lisa Gonzalez

Lisa Gonzalez researches and reports on telecommunications and municipal networks’ impact on life at the local level. Lisa has worked in politics, education, and as a freelance journalist. In addition to her contributions at ILSR.org, Lisa writes for MuniNetworks.org and produces the Broadband Bits podcast. More

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