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  • Writer's pictureWCCTA

WCCTA Awarded Grants for Rural Fort Dodge

Webster-Calhoun Cooperative Telephone Association of Gowrie has partnered with Central Cable Contractors of Waupun, WI and Vantage Point Solutions of Mitchell, SD to construct buried fiber cable to approximately 700 locations in the rural area around Fort Dodge.  Construction began last fall and has recently resumed to complete the project.

 

“It is exciting that Webster County is so close to being 100% fiber throughout the county,” noted Marcie Boerner, WCCTA COO. “Webster-Calhoun Cooperative Telephone Association has utilized a fiber network for many years and is now expanding into rural Fort Dodge.  Lehigh Valley Cooperative Telephone Association has expanded into the southern rural area of Fort Dodge and construction is also underway within the City of Fort Dodge with a municipal provider, Fort Dodge Fiber.”

 

Webster-Calhoun’s overall cost of the project is approximately $8 million dollars and will provide telephone, internet and tv services. The ability to expand further into rural Fort Dodge in part comes from two Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grants totaling over $3.9 million that targets specific census blocks or specific locations. Webster-Calhoun is also self-funding some locations that are not included in the grant areas. 


Webster County is rich in recreation with the beautiful landscape of the Des Moines River as well as vast gypsum quarries. It creates opportunities for scenic locations for housing; however, it also creates many expensive challenges when building out utilities in this terrain.

 

In September 2021 WCCTA was awarded $2,604,458.36 as part of NOFA # 006 which is 58.48% of the project cost for identified Census Blocks to fund approximately 260 locations.  In October 2023 WCCTA was awarded $1,329,294.09 which is 60% of the project cost for 98 locations identified as part of NOFA # 008.

 

“If you have an opportunity to receive a fiber drop you should do it.” adds Boerner.  “If you are not planning to use the service now or are planning to sell your home in the future you should still get the fiber connection to your home. It’s free during construction and a lot more cost effective for everyone.”

 

Webster-Calhoun currently provides 100% Fiber to the Home (FTTH) network to 20 communities including Moorland, Barnum, Clare, Badger, Vincent and Duncombe. The new construction will fill in the rural gap between Webster-Calhoun’s existing service area and the city limits of Fort Dodge.

 

There are several steps to constructing buried fiber and several locations are in different phases.  A majority of the area is finishing up testing and inspection.


This project was supported by federal funds made available through the American Rescue Plan Act and the State of Iowa, acting by and through the Department of Management (DOM).  Points of view expressed herein are those of the author or speaker and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the United States Government or State of Iowa or endorsement of the project.

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Webster-Calhoun Cooperative Telephone Association is located at 1106 Beek Street in Gowrie, Iowa. It has a Gig certified Fiber to the Home network and provides landline telephone, internet, Wi-Fi, and digital television service to the Iowa communities of Gowrie, Pilot Mound, Vincent, Thor, Churdan, Knierim, Somers, Barnum, Duncombe, Farnhamville, Badger, Clare, Moorland, Boxholm, Lanyon, Paton, Lohrville, Manson, Rockwell City, and Lake City.


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