West Des Moines to bring high-speed internet choices to residents and businesses with Google Fiber7/2/2020
Mayor Steve Gaer announced today that the City is constructing a citywide “open access” conduit network that will allow high-speed internet providers to enter the market by leasing space in the conduit network. This will help increase competition and further the goal that all residents and businesses across the City have access to world-class internet. Google Fiber will be the first tenant to lease space in the network and to provide high-speed internet citywide.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to work with an outstanding company like Google Fiber to help make this happen,” Gaer said. “Now more than ever, reliable high-speed internet is critical. It’s amazing that in just four years, West Des Moines is well on its way to achieving the WDM 2036 Plan goal of finding an innovative way to provide access to broadband for all our residents and businesses.”
“Access to fast and affordable internet is fundamental to life in the 21st century. Whether learning or working from home, whether shopping or gaming or watching streamed video, whether reaping the benefits of telehealth or connecting to family and friends via video – every person should have access to open, reliable, and fairly-priced internet,” said David Finn, Director of Corporate Development for Google Fiber. “We’re excited to be the first tenant – and first citywide provider – on the City of West Des Moines’ open conduit network. This will help ensure that homes and businesses across the City have access to world-class internet and foster increased competition in the market.”
Residents who are interested can sign up for updates on availability at google.com/fiber/wdm.
A key element of the City’s 20-year strategic plan calls for all residents, regardless of their means, to benefit from high-quality and high-speed connectivity. Gaer said that experience in other cities indicates that increasing the number of broadband service providers leads to better pricing and better service throughout the City.
“Equitable and affordable broadband access in all areas of our community is a top priority for our City,” he said.
A conduit license agreement on the July 6 City Council agenda calls for Google Fiber to cover a portion of the construction cost to build conduit – available throughout West Des Moines and to other tenants, as well – through their monthly lease payments.
Property taxes will not be increased to fund this project. The City will fund its share of the project cost by issuing taxable General Obligation bonds. Since West Des Moines has earned the top credit rating from Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, City officials will be able to finance the project and at greatly reduced interest rates.
Once the City installs conduit in the public right of way, broadband providers will pay a license fee to install their fiber in the City’s conduit. Google Fiber will be the first tenant in the network. Google Fiber plans to offer service throughout the entire network, ensuring broad coverage of gigabit speed internet service throughout the City. Every home and business in West Des Moines is eligible for a free connection point from their property to the municipal fiber conduit. The City will be installing these connections and will contact every business and resident in the near future to ensure everyone has the opportunity to participate.
Construction of the citywide conduit network will begin this fall and is estimated to be finished in approximately 2½ years.
This expansion of broadband solidifies West Des Moines’ national reputation as a preferred destination for global technology development and innovation. “Once again, we have proven ourselves as a leader and progressive partner for the tech community,” Gaer said.