ROCK FALLS – The city’s fiber internet footprint is expanding.
Surf Broadband Solutions new fiber construction started last month, and the goal is to complete the entire city network in a year, said Wayne Shafer, program manager for Rock Falls Surf Broadband Solutions.
This means more residents and businesses will have fast, reliable internet available to them for work, school and streaming, he said.
Progress will be updated online as well as with fliers and postcards to residents.
“We already employ three local staff ... our website iwantfiber.today will be updated with the schedule for your neighborhood soon.”
The City Council approved a $2.25 million deal in October to lease-to-own the city’s fiber broadband system to Surf Broadband Solutions, for the build-out of the network within the city.
“It’s going to mean [Rock Falls residents] will have fiber to the residences and their businesses which will deliver to them up to 1 gig speeds in both directions,” Surf Broadband CEO Greg Armstrong said.
“It’s a real advantage to the city in order to advertise as a gig city, it’s an advantage to the consumers on the commercial and residential side, particularly if there’s more work from home and schooling from home.”
The contract includes a 10% down payment to the city with the remainder to be paid off over 10 years at 5% interest. The city also will receive 5% of the gross revenue from Surf Broadband Solutions for 10 years, with the option to renew.
The city set out in 2015 to make broadband a city utility, but ran into several issues from costs to Google discontinuing the Fiberhood construction method in 2018 when it was shown to be ineffective. Rock Falls reached out to other partners in 2019, with SurfAir, now rebranded as Surf Broadband Solutions, entering talks with the city in November 2019.
Surf Broadband has served northwest Indiana, southwest Michigan and northeast Illinois since 2010.
Go to surfbroadband.com or iwantfiber.today for more information.