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Fiber optic network build-out to get underway in Waterloo after bid awarded

July 1, 2023
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DATE: July 1, 2023
BY: Maria Kuiper, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier
URL: https://wcfcourier.com/news/article_28d48744-15c8-11ee-a8b2-4382e5443aba.html

WATERLOO — The next step to connect Waterloo residents to the city’s new fiber optic network
is underway after a bid was awarded.

The City Council held a special session on Thursday to award a bid of $77.86 million to ITG
Communications, LLC, of Tullahoma, Tennessee, for the fiber-to-the-premise and backbone
network project. Councilmembers Dave Boesen, Ray Feuss, Jonathan Grieder and Rob Nichols
were present and all voted for the bid.

ITG’s bid for the fiber-to-the-premise portion was $21.24 million. The bid for the backbone
portion was $16.45 million. The alternate, $40.17 million, was one of four provided. The
alternate options are different ways the company could construct the layout.

There were three other proposals submitted for the project from Quanta Telecom Solutions of
Loganville, Ga.; MP of Maple Lake, Minn.; and Michels Power of Neenah, Wis. Bids with their
alternates ranged from $66.6 million to $106.9 million. The lowest bids were also submitted by

Funding for the projects comes from various sources. In a September referendum, more than
84% of residents voted for a $20 million general obligation bond for municipal broadband.
There is also money from the federal American Rescue Plan and a federal grant from the U.S.
Economic Development Administration. The city has also applied for other grants that it is
waiting to hear back on.

City departments, such as Waterloo Water Works and other utilities, will also be used to fund
portions of the project.

The build-out will begin as soon as possible. The first customers are projected to be connected
by the end of 2023. The entire project is expected to take three years.

The fiber optic network consists of two total projects. The first is the fiber backbone, which
supports the city’s operations like utilities, traffic, public safety and smart city initiatives. The
second project is the build-out and delivery of the fiber-to-the-premise services, which connects
internet access to every home and business in the city.

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