Fort Dodge Fiber debuts
Name, logo for municipal broadband utility unveiled
Local residents will be hearing and seeing the name Fort Dodge Fiber a lot in the weeks and months ahead.
That is the name of the city’s new municipal broadband utility.
The utility, which will be capable of bringing fiber optic cable to every address in the city, has been in the works since voters gave the city government the power to pursue it during a November 2019 referendum. The name and logo were introduced to the City Council Monday.
A new website, fortdodgefiber.com, went live Monday to provide information on the project.
City officials hope to have the first customers hooked up to the system by the end of this year.
”It is an exciting time for people living in, working from or visiting Fort Dodge,” Assistant City Manager Ryan Maehl said. ”The next big step in our process is bringing the limitless possibilities that come with a fast and reliable broadband system.”
Recruitment of the first Fort Dodge Fiber employees is beginning today after the City Council approved job descriptions Monday evening. Those first employees will be the director of the utility, a network engineer, a customer experience manager and a worker whose job will be locating underground utilities so that installation of the system doesn’t damage pipes, gas mains, and underground cables.
Maehl said the design of the system is 85 percent to 90 percent complete. Its construction is expected to begin in midsummer.
People who are interested in getting the broadband service will be able to pre-register for it this spring.
Fort Dodge will become the second largest city in Iowa with a municipal broadband utility. Cedar Falls is the largest Iowa city to have one.
Late last year, the City Council borrowed about $33.4 million to pay for constructing the system. It also borrowed about $3.5 million to pay for initial operating expenses. Those debts will be paid off with revenue generated by the utility, not tax dollars.
All future operations of the utility will be paid for with its revenue, not tax dollars.
The City Council has set these prices for the Fort Dodge Fiber services:
• $75 a month for residential service with upload and download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second.
• $95 a month for residential service with upload and download speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second
• $20 per phone line per month for residential phone service
• $100 a month for business service with upload and download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second
• $250 a month for business service with upload and download speeds of up to 250 megabits per second
• $500 a month for business service with upload and download speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second
• $75 per month per phone line for business phone service