(Nebraska City) -- Nebraska City officials this week took action to strengthen their relationship with the future provider of the city's broadband services.
Nebraska City's City Council approved an amendment to the franchise agreement with Spiral Communications of Glenwood. City Administrator Joe Johnson tells KMA News the council entered into the agreement with the company in October. Editors note: Our original story that indicated Spiral Communications would be the sole provider of broadband service in Nebraska City was not correct. The internal reorganization of Spiral Communications necessitated a contract amendment. Windstream and Time Warner Communications also both continue to also provide broadband service to residents of Nebraska City.
"Spiral Communications is a subdivision of Spiral Solutions, their parent company," said Johnson. "They've created a corporate split between the two groups, which is beneficial to both parties, because it means their parent company can't have any positive or negative influences on the communications side of the business, and vice versa. And it makes Spiral Communications a sole communications provider, which is a benefit to Nebraska City in the long term."
Johnson says the amendment also gives the company 36 months to lay broadband cables in the community, versus the current 24-month deadline. He says the city has no problem giving the company extra time.
"If we force them to lay the fiber within 24 months," he said, "but they don't have customers on that fiber, we're really setting them up for failure. But, if they can deploy the fiber based on demand, they'll have instant revenue once they put that fiber in the ground. And that's really what we want. We want Spiral Communications to be hugely successful in a business sense. Because without them being hugely successful, we're not doing Nebraska City any favors."
Johnson says Spiral's work will be important to the community's future growth, and in drawing new businesses and industries to town.
"We're seeing it right now," Johnson said. "When a prospect visits Nebraska City looking to locate a business here, one of the first questions asked is, 'can I have access to fiber.' Because fiber brings unlimited amounts of information, and data, and bandwidth to that business. It's just hugely important that we have huge amounts of bandwidth in the future."
In other business, the council approved a 5% fee increase at the Wildwood Golf Course for 2014. The council tabled action on the fees at its previous meeting earlier this month.