Chris Hansen is excited. He’s getting the Internet. Sure, he has access through his cell phone. But soon his rural Cedar Falls home also will be connected. Cedar Falls Utilities is beginning construction on a system to bring reliable, high-speed service to more than 900 customers in the rural electric service area north and west of the city.
Hansen called the development “a godsend.” Recently he moved a mile west of the city limits on University Avenue. Accessing the web from his phone is functional but slow, he said.
“It’s just not like having an Internet connection like you do in town where it’s on, it works, it broadcasts through the whole house and as many people can get on it as capable,” he said.
CFU received final approval last month on a federal grant to fund nearly 40 percent of the $2.3 million installation cost. This reduces the high per-customer cost of building a communications system in an area with lower housing density. Customers will pay a similar price as those in town.
(Last Paragraph; But Read More At Link Only Snip) In addition, the wireless towers will serve two-way electric meters CFU is installing in the rural area. The digital meters will provide immediate reports of electric outages so crews can respond faster. They also will reduce meter reading costs, as a CFU employee will no longer need to visit rural properties to collect usage information. Lower costs help hold rates down.