Moline’s search for a new high-speed fiber optic broadband internet service provider – a goal in the city’s 2022-24 Strategic Plan – is moving forward quickly. The new ISP provider selection will ensure that all residents and businesses across the city will have universal access to at least 1-gigabyte fiver service for internet, telephone and television.
The Mayor and City Council approved entering into an agreement on February 1 with consulting firm CTC Technology & Energy, which is conducting a high-level market assessment to determine the true broadband service needs throughout the city, what services are being provided today and where there are gaps in that service.
“The City’s goal is to find a 21st century solution to fill those gaps,” said City Administrator Bob Vitas, adding that CTC is a preeminent expert in the field.
The City Council approved spending $25,000 to hire CTC, with the understanding the firm will:
- Conduct a broadband needs analysis for all potential users within the City’s boundaries.
- Provide a report detailing those needs and recommendations for how to proceed with a service provider search.
- Preparation of a Request for Proposal based on the completed needs assessment for staff and Council approval.
- Review and evaluate the vendor submitted proposals to the RFP and recommend which provider best meets the RFP criteria.
- Negotiate terms with the successful ISP vendor for approval by the City Council.
The first two tasks are getting underway shortly, with the goal of evaluating RFPs in the spring. If all goes well, Vitas said, fiber installation could begin as early as this summer.
“We are excited that this critical piece of infrastructure is proceeding forward and look forward to the services it will provide to all residents and businesses,” Vitas said.