CEDAR FALLS, IA – Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU), which provides broadband communications, electricity, water and natural gas services to homes and businesses in Cedar Falls, Iowa, has launched Internet service at 1 gigabit per second (GBPS), making Cedar Falls the first and only Iowa community on the nation’s short list of gigabit cities.
CFU’s gigabit service is available now at any Cedar Falls business or home. The service is delivered through CFU’s city-wide fiber optic network, completed earlier this year. About 400 rural Cedar Falls properties also have access to the service.
“We can turn up a custom’s gigabit service on the same day they ask for it, if not the same hour,” said CFU General Manager Jim Brieg. “The facilities are already in place, so we can activate the service remotely from our network operations center.”
A Complete Infrastructure Package
Cedar Falls Community Services Manager Robert Seymour says the “gigabit city” label will put Cedar Falls on the map for a broader list of business prospects. “This is great tool for promoting Cedar Falls as a place to locate or expand a business,” says Seymour. “It’s an important part of the complete infrastructure package we bring to the table, and it means we can complete with the best broadband communities anywhere in the country.”
CFU designed its city-wide network and external Internet connections with diverse fiber paths and back-up capacity. “Our network is set up to maintain service to customers even when something breaks,” says Network Manager Rob Houlihan. “Say there’s a fiber cut between here and Chicago that takes one of our upstream providers out of service. Our other transport paths and bandwidth sources handle the traffic, without disruption for the customers.”
Krieg notes that CFU serves more than 600 businesses and 11,000 home Internet customers today, and most will not immediately upgrade to gigabit service. “With this launch, we’re upgrading our top business tier customers from 200 MBPS to gigabit service at the same price,” he said.
Bandwidth demand from CFU’s Internet customers has grown rapidly, and more than doubled in 2012. “Experience shows that when we deliver more bandwidth, customers find innovative ways to use it,” Krieg says. “We expect demand for gigabit service to start small, but grow fast.”