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Communications Utility Board chair says creating a municipal communications utility would be "too much of a risk" at this time

Posted: Mon, Mar 4, 2019 7:57 PM

The Decorah Communications Utility Board--the group formed to study whether Decorah should build a municipal communications utility--has come to the conclusion that such a utility should not be created at this time.

CUB Chair Jarrad Walter Monday night told Decorah City Council members the costs of digging trenches in Decorah to bury the fiber optic cable would be too high because of the community's rocky ground.  He also said that consulting firms said those higher start-up costs would mean Decorah would need too large a percentage of existing houses to be in the network.

Walter says CUB will continue to meet, but probably on a quarterly basis instead of every month.  He did recommend that the city install underground conduit whenever possible in the future as a way of lowering future utility costs.

"This has been a large undertaking," said Walter, who also praised the work of volunteers in the community who have supported the concept of a municipal communications network.