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Urges everyone to vote yes on broadband

To the editor:

There has been talk of Fort Dodge building the infrastructure of a broadband utility, and the vote for it is coming this Tuesday.

I’m originally from Cedar Falls, a town that pioneered the broadband utility in Iowa. I’ve lived many places in Iowa and not one has come close to providing the same internet service at the same price as Cedar Falls Utilities could.

The problems that most companies have do not exist with a municipal broadband utility. Peak hours, data caps, network congestion, and seemingly zero help from customer service. None of these issues affected our home internet use. We had a 100 mb/s plan, and we consistently got those speeds no matter the time of day. We never worried about how much data we were using, because we never had a data cap. Whenever we had an issue with router set up, an issue with our internet, needing any questions answered, it was always answered the same day and a follow up was typically sent through email to ensure that everything that we had done was still working.

The best part of our internet was the pricing. For everything that I mentioned above, in town residents paid a flat $52 per month fee. There were no taxes or extras to wonder about in between months, Cedar Falls charged a flat fee. Since this service was through Cedar Falls Utilities, you would pay it with your electric bill. There were no “promotional pricing” gimmicks and no two-year contracts where your rate got jacked up after the first year. Signing up for the broadband utility was the same rate for everyone, year after year.

The question that must be on anyone’s mind is how much will this cost me as a taxpayer. There has been talks about how much the city may need to invest into the project to bring a broadband utility to every home, and as of this point I can assure you that money is money well invested into the community. Fort Dodge can continue to grow with new business, home business, and sustain the business of those companies already well established in Dodge.

I plan to vote yes on Tuesday because I believe strongly that better broadband will make Fort Dodge a better place to live. I hope you’ll join me in supporting this concept.

Anthony Armile

Fort Dodge