Ames Today

Ames Today

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Ames considers creating a city-owned internet provider

Business

By Zeta Cross | Nov 28, 2019

Amescc
Ames City Council | Ames website

The Ames City Council is determined to improve the city's online service – even if the council has to do it itself.

Ames residents have been complaining for years that they want faster internet service and a choice of providers, Ames Assistant City Manager Brian Philips said. Some pockets of the city are without service because the infrastructure in the ground is lacking. 

The city council has resolved to explore creating a municipally-owned and operated utility that could work in partnership with private providers. The council is in the process of hiring a consultant and proceeding with a feasibility study, Philips said. 

“It may make sense for the city to get involved in order to provide better service,” he said.

The city council had been hoping that the private sector would meet the city’s needs. This summer, the city invited internet provider Metronet to discuss how it could invest $30 million in Ames. However, even that hefty investment would not solve all of Ames' internet problems, Philips said.

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