Certified connected

Webster City will soon be certified as Iowa’s second certified broadband connected community.

Connect Iowa, a subsidiary of Connected nation and a nonprofit group that was commissioned by the Iowa Economic Development Authority to increase broadband internet access across the state. City manager Ed Sadler said the certification process was largely led by former Webster City economic developer David Toyer.

The certification process assessed the local broadband landscape in Webster City. Sadler said the fiber cable internet line that circles the city was installed many years ago. The cable goes around the city, allowing businesses, government agencies, schools and more to access the internet at high speeds.

Much of the work to become certified, which involved answering questions from Connect Iowa, submitting information and following up on recommendations made by Connect Iowa, took about a year and a half. Sadler said by being certified, businesses looking to come to Webster City know that they will be supported with modern internet infrastructure.

“A lot of business in the area relies on internet,” Sadler said. “Whether that be through ordering or order fulfillment. You can come here and not have to worry about if the internet can handle the load.”

In addition to the internet infrastructure, Sadler said the city’s electrical and water cooling infrastructure has drawn several looks from high-tech businesses.

While the certification puts Webster City above many other rural cities, it also puts them above several larger cities that might not have such a wide area of high-speed internet available. Sadler said that, for some businesses, the small-town feel of Webster City is a positive over other areas with such internet capability such as the metropolitan Des Moines area. Indianola was the first community in Iowa to be certified as a connected community.

The certification will be presented on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Fuller Hall.