Decorah Fiber Pledge Campaign to Measure Interest in Building a Community Fiber Network
Decorah, IA (August 8, 2018) – The City of Decorah and the Decorah Telecommunications Utility Commission are asking citizens to express their support for a community-owned fiber optic network by signing the Decorah Fiber Pledge.
The Decorah Fiber Pledge, launched on August 1st, asks residents and businesses to commit to switching their telecommunications services to the city network when it is built.
“I want the City of Decorah to build and operate a state-of-the-art fiber optic network and provide internet, cable television, and telephone service to citizens. By my electronic signature below, I pledge to switch some or all of my residential telecommunications services to the City fiber utility within 12 months of the date they become available at our address.”
Jarrad Walter, chair of the Decorah Telecommunications Utility Commission, says the fiber pledge is designed to measure what the likely take-rates would be for a city project.
“Surveys are helpful, and the survey conducted during the original feasibility study showed strong support. But the fiber pledge campaign will give us even better projections to use in the business plan,” says Walter.
The Commission is currently working with CCG Consulting on a revised business plan that will bring the project’s financial viability into sharper focus. As part of that process, the Commission worked closely with CCG to develop proposed pricing for internet, cable tv, and telephone services.
The Commission’s goal is to build a network that can provide better service for a competitive price. If enough homes and businesses take the fiber pledge it will give the Commission confidence that a community fiber project will be successful financially and allow the fiber-to-the home project to continue moving forward with planning.
The Decorah Fiber Pledge is being conducted online at the following website: www.ourbroadbandfuture.com/decorah. Two pledge forms are available on the site; one for residential customers and the other for business customers. Persons responsible for broadband decisions at their home and business are encouraged to fill out both pledge forms. On the page for each pledge form are the proposed prices for internet, cable tv, and telephone services.
Jim Fritz is with Decorah Fast Fiber, the citizens group that has advocated for a community broadband network for the past three years. The group’s effort resulted in a 93% positive vote in the telecommunications referendum in November 2015. Fritz says the group is hoping that Decorah citizens will show the same kind of community spirit with the fiber pledge as they did with the referendum.
“We strongly encourage everyone to take the Decorah Fiber Pledge to show your support for a community-owned fiber network to bring better broadband to everyone.”
Jarrad Walter, Chair, Telecommunications Utility Commission
Chad Bird, City of Decorah, City Manager