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West Des Moines' high-speed internet expansion project running on schedule

The city is building infrastructure that'll house Google Fiber, which will be available to all parts of West Des Moines.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Despite a slower than anticipated start, West Des Moines city officials said they still expect to complete their first conduit network section on schedule. 

"Getting materials is very difficult," West Des Moines City Engineer Brian Hemesath said. "We had a very hard time getting vaults and handholes at the beginning of the project. We're starting to get those back in now, so we're starting to catch up."

Right now, fiber optic connections aren't available everywhere in the city, but that'll soon change. West Des Moines is making progress on installing a conduit network that will house fiber cabling.

Once that's complete and Google Fiber gets installed, people in the city will have access to faster internet.

"This project is so important to the city of West Des Moines to be able to give people ubiquitous broadband access to the entire community," Hemesath said. 

Google Fiber's North Region General Manager Peter Cunningham, who is overseeing West Des Moines' network, updated the city council last month.

Cunningham said the company plans to have its network up and running later this year.

According to their website, Google Fiber is only available in 11 cities right now across the country. West Des Moines will be on the 12th.

The first conduit section in the city that'll be complete includes Valley High and the surrounding neighborhood. 

"The City of West Des Moines’ conduit network project will be a powerful tool and attraction mechanism for our businesses and community," West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce President Katherine Harrington said. "High-speed internet service is critical to a city and its residences. This is a key infrastructure project and will help keep West Des Moines competitive into the future."

Mediacom is suing the city over the project, claiming West Des Moines is creating a monopoly by giving Google Fiber exclusive rights to the project.