Telecom company to build $10 million fiber optic network in Newton – Newton Daily News

An Iowa telecommunications company said Friday it will install an estimated $10 million fiber broadband network throughout Newton over the next few years that will provide high-speed internet access and other communication services. to every home and business within the city limits.

Mahaska Communication Group (MCG) will begin building the underground broadband network in early 2022, hoping to complete the project by the end of 2024 or early 2025. The network will be built in phases and will allow owners businesses and residents to receive services once they become available. in their fields.

In addition to the fiber network, MCG will also establish a local office in Newton to house customer support, service technicians and salespeople. As a result, the expansion of the Oskaloosa-based business is expected to create 12 new full-time jobs in the community.

With network speeds of up to two gigabits per second, residential and business customers will enjoy faster Internet access as well as television, local and long distance telephone services. Businesses will have access to a private telephone system, advertising and other services.

MCG has been active for over 20 years serving eight incorporated communities in three counties. It is owned by Musco Lighting, a private Oskaloosa company specializing in the design and manufacture of sports and large-area lighting systems.

MCG General Manager Frank Hansen is excited to serve the community and was grateful for the support from the city and others, which he says was one of the deciding factors in bringing the company to Newton. MCG is currently building a fiber network in Grinnell, similar to what Newton will have.

“The expansion in Newton really aligns with our belief that building strong communities in rural Iowa requires working together,” Frank Hansen said. “…We’ve built in other communities around us, and building that base is going to make using stronger and working together to achieve that.”

Tanya Michener, associate director of Newton Development Corporation (NDC), said the organization is looking for more reliable and consistent broadband opportunities not only for school and work, but also for modern manufacturing and industrial practices. .

The demand for high-quality internet only increased when people were forced to work or attend school from home during the pandemic.

“Equipment issues and the ability to have fast service – those are also things we’re all looking at now post-COVID,” Michener said.

NDC and Jasper County Economic Development Corporation (JEDCO) distributed a broadband survey coordinated by the Greater Des Moines Partnership to residents of Jasper County. The survey was designed to measure Internet adequacy in an area of ​​11 counties.

The survey – the results of which have yet to be released – also served to identify outage gaps within the community. Michener said MCG is trying to address some of these issues. Frank Hansen said Newton’s fiber optic network will be very reliable, affordable and “of almost unlimited capacity”.

Newton Mayor Mike Hansen once said a few days ago that he was “the happiest mayor in the state of Iowa” after IndyCar, Hy-Vee and the city of Newton announced a series of races at Iowa Speedway. On Friday, August 20, following MCG’s announcement, that sentiment remains true.

“We spend a lot of time talking about what our needs would be in our community as we continue to grow, especially broadband,” Hansen said. “…I am so grateful and thrilled to welcome them to our community.”

Steve Burnett, Deputy Managing Director of MCG, said MCG keeps customers in mind when making decisions and wants to build relationships, deliver innovative solutions that strengthen and drive new business, improve healthcare, advance education and help achieve financial stability.

“We really care about helping you and treating you like you’re appreciated and cared for,” Burnett said. “When you call us, not only do we answer the phone, but you speak to one of our local team members. We understand that your time is important. That’s why we show up when we say we’re going to show up.

Appointments are scheduled on time, he added, and there is no “fine print” for clients to comb through as there are no contracts. Plus, there’s no data cap or additional price increase after a certain number of months, Burnett said. The money, too, will stay in the community.

Burnett said MCG will offer Newton customers one of two plans: 1 gigabit Internet for $59 per month and 2 gigabit Internet for $99 per month.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or [email protected]

Sean B. Jackson