Broadband issues aired at forum

Broadband issues aired at forum Main Photo

18 Oct 2019

Bill Shea

Mediacom representatives defended their company’s broadband service Thursday evening while Fort Dodge City Manager David Fierke explained an upcoming vote that may allow the local government to set up a telecommunications utility to compete with the private ones.

”What we provide today is on par with any other broadband technology, and we’re moving further ahead from where we are today and we’re moving there very quickly,” said Phyllis Peters, communications director for Mediacom.

She and Jeff Anifison, the company’s area operations director for Fort Dodge, were also on the receiving end of complaints from customers angry about slow internet service and long waits for technicians to arrive at their homes.

Frontier Communications, the other broadband provider in the city, did not have any representatives at the forum sponsored by the new group People of Webster Exercising Responsibility. That company’s customers were recently hit with lengthy internet outages.

”If the service was that good in Fort Dodge, we wouldn’t be here in this room,” Fierke said.

He said that residents of Gowrie have fiber optic cables directly to their homes for broadband service.

”We should have the same level of service,” he said.

About 10 people attended the forum, held in the Celebration Center at Friendship Haven.

The focus of the forum was a question that Fort Dodge voters will find on their Nov. 5 general election ballots. It asks ”Shall the city of Fort Dodge, in Webster County, Iowa, establish a municipal telecommunications utility (including the potential provision of video, voice, telephone, data and all other forms of telecommunications and cable communications services) for the city?”

If the majority of those voting on the question vote yes, the City Council will be granted the power to establish such a utility.

Full article.

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