Municipal Telecommunications Utility Referendum

A special referendum will be held on May 1, 2018 asking residents of Pella the question “Shall the City of Pella, in the County of Marion, State of Iowa, be authorized to establish a Municipally-Owned telecommunications system (including cable communications, television, video, voice, telephone, data, internet, broadband and all other forms of telecommunications and cable communications systems and services) Utility?”

As demand for high speed connectivity continues to grow, the PACE Alliance recognizes the urgency and necessity of fiber optic connectivity in the city of Pella and supports measures which encourage investment in this area.  High speed internet access is critical for a vibrant local economy and overall quality of life for Pella residents.

The PACE Alliance supports this measure as the first step towards increased connectivity and business productivity.  A fiber optic infrastructure will enhance the way local businesses communicate, operate and propel economic growth for the region.

All PACE Alliance members and their employees, who are registered voters in Pella, are encouraged to vote on May 1.

 

FAQ’s

What is the referendum for on May 1?

The Pella City Council has called for a special election on Tuesday, May 1 on the question of whether the city should establish a municipally-owned telecommunications utility. The referendum simply seeks authorization from Pella citizens to establish a telecommunications utility and provides the City Council with the discretion to proceed with the utility when it is feasible for the City of Pella. All registered voters of the City of Pella are encouraged to vote.  A 50.1% approval rate of the votes cast is needed to approve the measure.

 

What is a Municipal Telecommunications Utility?

A Municipal Telecommunications Utility could potentially provide high speed internet service (including cable communications, television, video, voice, telephone, data, internet, broadband and all other forms of telecommunications and cable communications systems and services) which is owned by a municipality.


Is there a need for a fiber connection?

Iowa ranks #1 in infrastructure including internet and ultra-fast internet access, yet Pella is behind the curve. Our local businesses and residents experience difficulties downloading files, streaming videos, connecting multiple devices and utilizing cloud and web-based applications, like Amazon’s Alexa program or online textbooks for students.  To remain competitive in the national marketplace, local employers have been forced to secure their own private dedicated fiber lines to accommodate business needs, while others experience slow speeds during peak business hours limiting their functionality.

A high speed connection throughout the entire City will make it easier to conduct daily business, expedite care from healthcare providers, give flexibility to employees who would work from home as well as position our community for future business expansion and population growth.

 

If a Telecommunications Utility were established in Pella, would I have a choice in internet/cable/phone providers to my home and/or business?

Yes.  A Pella municipal high speed internet service will be an additional provider choice in the City of Pella with competitive rates, speeds and service.

 

What is the timeline for a Municipal Telecommunication Utility?

Approval of the May 1 referendum is the first step.   The Pella City Council and City Staff will proceed with a utility when it is financially feasible for the City of Pella.