Project Updates

Week of January 1, 2018

Progress on IMU’s Fiber-to-the-Home project is continuing at a rapid pace. Since the last Indianola Magazine update Excel Utility Contractors have installed over 150,000 feet of underground conduit, set over 1,100 ground vaults and pulled in close to 30,000 feet of fiber optic cable. Most of this initial work has been in the northwestern part of town.

The decision to start here was dictated by two factors. The first was the need to build our main feeder route from Des Moines to our new Central Office located near the IMU administration Building at 111 S. Buxton. Building this feeder route allows us to begin sourcing and testing transport equipment this winter which is critical to maintain our fall of 2018 projected start date. The second factor was to take advantage of the fall weather and install in areas where we could make the most progress in a short amount of time. As of this update we’re over 50% completed with conduit and vault installation for the project. This keeps us on schedule to be able to launch services in all areas of town in the fall of 2018.

If the winter weather continues to cooperate crews will begin moving south of Hwy 92 by the Catholic Church and work back east towards Pickard Park. Once that is completed the final area will be the northeast section of town. This area already has access to fiber in many locations, so the main focus will be filling in areas to provide the capacity needed for the new system.

As with any project of this magnitude there will be some locations that will need some additional restoration work once winter is over. Excel is planning on addressing those areas in the spring as the weather allows.

While Excel has been busy in town, TelCom Construction has been busy out of town. Th e last two months have been spent building a 9-mile fiber route between Indianola and the eastern edge of Norwalk. A little over 50,000 feet of fiber has been installed along this route and is now available to use as our main transport feeder to Des Moines.

Progress is being made in the re-design work of the existing electric line shop at South B St. and West 1st Ave. This will eventually become the working offices of the fiber utility, and a refurbished telecom shelter has been purchased to serve as the new central office where most of the transport equipment will be installed. The shelter is scheduled to be in place by the beginning of the new year.

One of the most heard questions besides “when will I be able to hook up?” is “what are rates going to be?”. We are continuing to put the pieces together and as we make progress in our negotiations with service providers this part of the project will begin to come together. We expect to make significant progress in this area in the first quarter of 2018. Our goals are to offer fast and reliable data, voice and video while providing you with exceptional hometown service all at a market competitive cost.

We look forward to being able to offer you services in the fall of 2018.

FTTH Conduit and Vault Installation Map

Week of November 17, 2017

Although the weather has turned colder, work has still continued at a brisk pace on the Indianola Fiber project.  Here's an update!

  • Underground work, including the installation of the ducts and vaults that will hold the fiber, has been concentrated in the northwest section of Indianola. If the weather continues to cooperate, this area – West of Highway 65/69 and north of Highway 92 – should be done in the next few weeks. Upon completion of that section, Excel Utility Contractors will move their crews south of Highway 92 and begin working east.
  • In areas where the underground duct has already been installed, crews are beginning to install fiber optic cable. After the fiber is installed, splicing will begin. Just because fiber has been installed and spliced in a given area of Indianola does not mean it’s ready to receive service. We still have a number of steps that will need to be taken before we can begin connecting customers and activating service. 
  • IMU has ordered a prefabricated communications building that will be placed near the existing electric line building on South Buxton. This building, hardened and designed to withstand severe weather and tornadic winds, will serve as the central office for the fiber network and will house fiber the equipment needed for network operations.

Based on the progress we’ve seen so far, we think Indianola Fiber is still on target to begin connecting customers and activating services by late Summer or early Fall 2018.  Keep checking back here for new updates as the project moves forward!

Week of August 28, 2017

Construction on Indianola Fiber will begin next week! Crews from Excel Utility Contractors will begin work on the fiber feeder and distribution network in service areas SA-01 and SA-02 (shaded green on the map). In advance of work, Excel is distributing door hangers to alert residents that work will begin soon. Door hangers will be used throughout the project to inform citizens when construction will begin in their area. To view a copy of the door hanger click here.

Area Map

Week of July 24, 2017

Indianola's broadband future is fiber optics, and the future begins in August with construction of a community-wide fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Friday, August 4, 2017 on the Indianola Municipal Utilities (IMU) FTTH project.  The ceremony is scheduled for 11:00 am at Sesquicentennial Park at the corner of US Highway 65/69 and East Salem Avenue.  In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the Indianola City Council Chambers in the adjacent municipal building.

Participants in the ribbon cutting will include representatives of IMU and the City of Indianola as well as other community leaders.  Several dignitaries are being invited to participate and will be announced as invitations are accepted.

IMU will soon begin construction on a fiber to the home network connecting every home and business in Indianola with gigabit-capable internet, telephone service, and cable TV.  The $12.3 million project is an extension of IMU's previous work to provide fiber connections in a portion of the community that began in 2007.

Excel Utility Contractors from St. James, MO is the primary contractor for the outside plant construction, and will be working with subcontractors from central Iowa to help build the network.  Construction is expected to be completed by late summer of 2018.

Week of July 3, 2017

Nothing to report...yet.  On July 26 we are holding a pre-construction meeting with Excel Utility Constructors, the primary contractor for the fiber installation.