When the City of Decorah created a request for proposals on a feasibility study of a fiber optic communications network in town, 30 businesses asked for copies of those specifications. Of that number, nine consultants presented written proposals to the City. In the next two weeks, representatives from two of those companies will visit Decorah to answer a final set of questions.
Members of the Decorah Telecommunications Utility Board have met over the past few weeks to review the proposals of the nine companies. They met again on Thursday and agreed that the most important aspect of the feasibility study will be a market survey to determine what percent of Decorah residents would switch to a new utility--and at what price levels. That survey would help determine the financial prospects for the utility—and whether or not the utility should be created.
Questions asked in separate interviews with the two consulting firms will center on the market survey, with other issues also addressed. The Decorah Telecommunications Utility Board will meet in late March to make their recommendation of which firm should be hired. The Decorah City Council will be asked to approve that choice on April 3rd. If the city council approves the choice, the feasibility study would begin immediately, with a completion in July.