Last April, the small town of Waverly in central Iowa connected its first customers to test the new, citywide, Fiber-to-the Home (FTTH) network. After years of sub-par service from incumbent providers, the residents wanted something better. After securing funding, the municipal Waverly Utilities set to work on the Connect Waverly network. Services officially became available for everyone in July 2016.
Today, Connect Waverly stretches to all 10,000 homes and businesses in the town and provides high-speed Internet service of up to 1 Gigabit per second (1,000 Mbps) symmetrical to more than 1,200 residential and commercial customers. The Courier's Cedar Valley Business Monthly reports that Waverly's high take rate is double their six-month goal.
Jennifer Bloker, Waverly Utilities’ Director of Marketing and Public Information, told the Courier’s Cedar Valley Business Monthly, “We’re investing back into our community. We care about Waverly as a whole.”
Collaboration with Cedar Falls
Waverly Utilities had support from another utility, the long-running municipal network in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The two towns are collaborating and will share ownership of new equipment, such as an IPTV head-end system, to serve the customers on both networks.
Waverly Utilities’ Director of Telecom Service, Jeff Magsamen, appreciates the support. Magsamen told the Courier:
“We have a good partnership with them. They’re always there to answer questions, they’ve helped us out a lot. Drawing on CFU’s [Cedar Falls Utilities] decades of experience has benefited us greatly.”
Learn More About Waverly And Beyond
Back in 2013, Waverly turned to the voters to approve a measure for a municipal telecommunications utility. The community had already passed a similar referendem ten years earlier, but the community had not acted on the original election when the incumbents, jolted to action by the referendum, made temporary improvements.
By the time 2013 rolled around, however, the incumbents had once again drifted back into a state of lethargy toward Waverly and its citizens. After a decade, a number of other communities had invested in municipal networks and leaders in Waverly felt compelled to investigate further. After a feasibility study, a supportive community, and an election "do over," the city's municipal electric utility took the necessary steps to establish the communications utility.
To hear the story from a Waverly Utilities' representative, listen to Christopher interview Mike Litterer for episode 53 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast. At the time, he was serving as Interim General Manager.
Congrats to Waverly on the great work and the well deserved results. We are excited to see what the future has in store for this new municipal network.
For more about citywide, municipal, FTTH networks, check out our resource page with quick facts about citywide FTTH networks throughout the United States.