The Ottumwa Courier

Opinion

September 14, 2013

Broadband Internet just the beginning

(Continued)

Amazingly, it was built one segment at a time based on need and financial capital available.

What began as a $150,000 investment by the City of Angola to connect its buildings (public safety, water works, parks & rec, sewer treatment, administration, etc …) soon developed into a plan to connect public education and hospital facilities along that initial route.

Today, the network covers over 82 miles and has a presence in all incorporated areas of our county, including each industrial complex, school, library, medical facility and government building.

It was paid for by grants and appropriations from business, industry, foundations and economic development resources, so there is no debt service.

It saves government and school budgets (and therefore taxpayers) approximately $550,000 annually, and it’s expected that when it reaches 160 connections, it will be generating over $430,000 in revenue each year.

That revenue pays for insurance, location service, network administration, additional deployment and grantmaking functions.

It is completely self-sustaining. And, because it is a nonprofit, it files its own IRS form 990, making it a transparent and accountable organization to the public as well.

The iMAN team would very much like to come visit your fair city, meet with community leaders and answer questions you may have about our fiber network model and how it’s different from a private business.

Again, iMAN thanks David Barajas, Megan Framke, Brad Little, Joe Helfenberger, and Shane Molyneux, along with consultant Craig Settles for their willingness to envision something new and exciting for the advancement of the Ottumwa area.

We enjoyed their time and interest.

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