Because fiber-optic technology uses pulses of light instead of electricity to transmit signals of information, it is capable of providing the fastest Internet speeds available and makes “gigabit Internet” (download speed of 1 gigabit, or 1,000 megabits, per second) possible. The cutting edge technology will allow for larger two-way data streams moving at faster speeds with virtually no congestion; advantages not possible with the current HFC system.
“Muscatine has a long history of leadership in telecom and strong community support for keeping our system ahead of the curve,” said Director of Employee and Community Relations, Erika Cox. “We must remember that the Communications Utility was created out of concern by the public that the previous incumbent, for-profit providers weren’t willing to deliver the level of services the community was demanding. By a 94% majority vote of the citizens, we were entrusted to build and maintain a state of the art system. Fiber to the Home is a natural extension of that mandate and we’re excited about what it will mean for us and future generations.”
Worldwide, consumer and business demand for gigabit Internet is growing, along with the desire for new entertainment options like Ultra HD (4k) video, voice services, home automation and real-time remote management of other utilities and energy efficiency initiatives. FTTH will make all of this and more possible, enhancing the community’s quality of life and viability.
Consideration was also given to two other plans that would have either maintained or incrementally improved the existing HFC system. As stewards of the public trust, the Board of Trustees felt the other options were costly short-term fixes and that FTTH was clearly the superior option.
“Tonight’s decision assures that Muscatine Power and Water will continue to be a leader in telecommunications,” said LoBianco, “the new system will be able meet the bandwidth needs of the community for years to come while reducing maintenance and improving reliability. It ensures that the communications capabilities in Muscatine are as good as in any large city which enjoys the benefits of FTTH technology.”
Detailed project planning and engineering will be conducted in 2015 with construction beginning in 2016. The new fiber system is expected to be fully operational in 2017.
For more information, visit mpw.org or call 563-263-2631.