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Initial broadband study results encourage closer look, city hears

South Main Street reopening pushed back to Wednesday

By Kate Haydenn | [email protected]

Initial results are in on a regional broadband transport study Charles City took part in with ten other communities –– and so far, the results are encouraging, City Administrator Steve Diers told the city council on Wednesday evening.

The feasibility study, led by the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities, explored whether linking a central core network operator to neighboring networks could reduce startup costs for communities and provide cheaper internet services to residents. Charles City paid $15,000 to join the initial study, Diers said. In the future, the city could potentially rely on a core network operator in a city like Cedar Falls, offering Charles City residents an alternative to providers like Mediacom.

“This network could significantly reduce costs, (and) involves sharing equipment from multiple municipalities where you don’t need that same multi-million dollar piece of equipment in each town,” Diers said. “The study has come back in the last couple of weeks, and more or less shown it is very feasible to do this network.”

Study leaders are asking communities to decide by May if they’d like to begin installation of fiber networks in their communities, but Diers recommended beginning a local study before committing.

“I think it’s very difficult, next to impossible for us to say ‘yes, we’re interested in moving forward’,” Diers told the council. “I think we need to keep talking about this idea and see about doing a local feasibility study.”


Traffic updates

The city council should consider a new yield sign for southbound traffic on L Street’s intersection with First Avenue, City Engineer John Fallis told the council.

As part of the middle school project construction, First Avenue’s extension created a “T”-intersection with L Street. There is not yet enough data to warrant a full stop sign, Fallis said, adding that the city will continue to monitor traffic flow and evaluate further measures as needed.

Water main repairs on South Main Street have pushed the street’s opening back to Wednesday, April 20 instead of the original April 18 deadline, Diers reported.

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