Will service be available outside of the Decorah city limits?
While the current plan is to build a fiber network within the city itself, we understand that the community of Decorah does not stop at the city limit boundaries. We are hoping to work with possible partners to improve connectivity outside of the city and help bridge the “digital divide”.
Will you have data caps or allowances on your internet service?
No. Decorah’s fiber internet service will allow unlimited usage for all customers without overages or data caps.
Will this make my taxes increase?
No. A Decorah fiber network will be financed using revenues from the people who use it. That’s the same way our water utility works today…no tax dollars involved. If you don’t use it, you don’t pay for it.
What other communities have built their own fiber networks?
A lot! Just here in Iowa, we have communities larger than Decorah (Cedar Falls, Indianola, Waverly, Spencer, Muscatine) and smaller (Bellevue, Coon Rapids, Lenox) that have built or are building fiber networks. In addition, we have over a dozen other Iowa communities that have successfully operated hybrid fiber‐copper networks successfully for over 20 years.
Decorah is not alone in its efforts to consider a community‐owned fiber network. Other Iowa communities that are also in the process include Charles City, New Hampton, Pella, and Adair. It is expected that some of these cities will be building their own fiber networks in 2018.
Why would a city‐owned fiber network be better than what we have today?
During the past 3 years, city leaders and community advocates have talked to hundreds of Decorah citizens about their experience with current telecommunications services. They’ve told us that service is often unreliable, speeds are less than what is advertised, and the customer service experience leaves a lot to be desired. Those are problems that a new, community‐owned fiber network can solve for the benefit of the entire community.
I’m concerned about Net Neutrality. What can a Decorah Fiber network do to protect an open internet?
As a publicly owned provider, the city of Decorah will not engage in any practices that would block, throttle, or prioritize any traffic on our network. We believe the internet must remain free and open.
I’ve signed the pledge! Now, when can I get service from Decorah Fiber?
If enough people sign the Decorah Fiber Pledge, it will give us confidence that a community fiber network is a feasible project. The next steps would include finalizing a business plan, creating a financing plan, and hiring an engineering firm to design the network. It is possible that, if all goes smoothly, we could begin building Decorah Fiber in 2019!