Iowa Cities use Joint Committee to discuss fiber network construction

BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) — The City Councils and Mayors of Davenport and Bettendorf met in a special Committee of the Whole in order to discuss a potential regional development agreement with MetroNet Fiber to bring fiber-to-the-premise broadband network to Davenport and Bettendorf.

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The Agenda consisted of discussion of a development agreement, development of a construction agreement and a motion for each city to consider discussion for their city council agendas. Each city would need to agree to both the development and construction agreements for the project to continue moving forward.

The Development agreement is non-exclusive and focuses on providing an FTTP network to the city limits of Bettendorf and Davenport. The development plans include not just the building of the fiber services but also a local retail location and repair trucks on call in case of emergencies.

The Construction agreement outlines the project as a dual-community project where it will fully construct 90% of its network in both cities within three years. Blanket permitting would be used.

The fiber network would be placed in easements and be based on the aerial and underground MidAmerican electrical grid. Homes and businesses would only be connected to the fiber network if they chose to use MetroNet Fiber as their internet provider.

The proposed construction schedule includes a communication plan with multiple notifications and updates to customers as they move through local neighborhoods. It includes a website explaining the process and allowing property owners to find answers to frequently asked questions.

In return for full community builds, both cities will rebate their portions of city-specific property taxes received from the fiber infrastructure for a 20-year period as an Economic Development Grant. The Davenport grant would be capped at 11,675,000 dollars. The Bettendorf grant would be capped at 3,375,000 dollars.

MetroNet Fiber brought the concept of this fiber network build out to the city three years ago, when Davenport turned down looking into municipal utility fiber internet.

Both Davenport and Bettendorf carried motions to recommend discussion of the fiber agreements at their respective city council meetings.