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Public input sought on broadband survey

The City of Webster City is seeking input on the possibility of a developing a fiber broadband utility.

In the late 1990s, Webster City was one of 30 Iowa communities that successfully passed a referendum to establish a municipal communications utility with a ballot issue approval of 84 percent. At that time, the City installed an aerial fiber optic loop to connect the electric utility facilities, schools, and a limited number of businesses.

Webster City Vitality Director Lindsay Henderson said in a letter to area residents and businesses, “Now now, more than ever, we realize that if a community wants to be resilient and prepared in the 21st-century economy, it needs broad access to a 21st-century telecommunications infrastructure, which means fiber optics to every home and business, delivering virtually unlimited bandwidth and unmatched reliability.”

Henderson said there are really two options that appear most likely to lead to better broadband:

• Investment in a publicly owned municipal fiber network, operated by Webster City as a new utility with full ownership, control, and operation

• A public-private partnership between the City and one or more private entities with some balance of ownership, management, and maintenance between the City and partner(s).

Area residents and businesses can complete the following are asked to complete Broadband Surveys. Participation will help City leadership measure attitudes about our existing internet providers and gauge support for the City’s investment in expanding our fiber infrastructure to close the service gaps and enable a more competitive digitized local economy.

The survey can be accessed at the following sites:

https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5929446/WC-Business-Survey-English

https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5929441/WC-Residential-Survey-English

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