Localism, Energy, and Very Fast Fiber!

August 28, 2018Community, News, Sustainability, Take Action

Want to cast a vote right now – this very minute – for a healthy, prosperous, and innovative Decorah? For locally-owned, super-fast, highly-reliable, unlimited, and affordable internet?

Stop what you’re doing, go to http://www.ourbroadbandfuture.com/decorah.html, and take the Decorah Fiber Pledge for your household or business. (We’ll get to the energy connection soon, but first take the pledge, then keep reading!)

In 2015, the Decorah community overwhelmingly voted YES (94%) to establish a municipal telecommunications utility. A feasibility study showed the public utility could provide high-quality service at affordable prices if customers enrolled at levels similar to those seen in many of our peer communities.

Our professional civil servants are now rightly proceeding with caution. They are returning to the community, and asking “Will you be a customer?” The results of the Decorah Fiber Pledge will be critical to the decision of whether and how to invest in building the utility and providing services.

If not enough households and businesses take the pledge, the dream of Fast Fiber available from a Decorah public utility may be over, period. So vote with your pledge, NOW.

OK, why do we at the Energy District care? Because localism matters, and it works. Local broadband networks and local food and energy systems have all been shown to contribute greatly to community health, prosperity, and resiliency. They represent a community taking its future into its own hands.

We mentioned innovation and investment above, when discussing the public broadband utility. These values and actions are as important in the public sector as in the private sector. The strongest communities are those that do both well, and public utilities are a critical foundation of public investment and innovation.

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance has developed an online resource called Community Networks that documents the truly amazing and universal economic development impacts of municipal broadband across the country. If you’re excited about those examples of localism working, switch over to ILSRs Energy Democracy page to see the similar universal economic impacts of local and clean energy.

Thanks to all our local public servants for their professionalism, innovation, and investment in our community. And special thanks to those doing the hard work to bring public broadband (aka Fast Fiber!)_to the Decorah area. You can thank them too: go to http://www.ourbroadbandfuture.com/decorah.html and take the pledge.

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