Geneva Committee of the Whole suggests 10-year fiber agreement

By ZACHARY VAN VUREN - zvanvuren@shawmedia.com Published: Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017 3:30 p.m. CDT

GENEVA – The Geneva Committee of the Whole recommended a draft ordinance for a 10-year agreement with a cable television franchise, which includes television, phone and internet service, after holding a public hearing Sept. 11.

The agreement would be with CMN-RUS Inc., doing business as MetroNet.

Aldermen at the meeting questioned MetroNet External Affairs Executive Director Kathy Scheller about the benefits of bringing fiber optics to Geneva. Scheller said the most recent franchise approval came from Batavia last week.

Third Ward Alderman Becky Hruby asked what the advantage of a fiber optic connection was, to which Scheller responded that it’s the best technology available.

A direct connection is a distinguishing feature of MetroNet’s service, as Scheller said she believes MetroNet is the only fiber optic company offering it at this time. Scheller would later explain that a direct connection means that a user would be the only person on their bandwidth and wouldn’t have to share it with their neighbors.

MetroNet plans to service the entire area of Geneva.

“Basically our footprint in Geneva is the entire community,” Scheller said. “We will employ our infrastructure in the public right-of-way. If someone chooses to use our services then we will drop fiber to their home.”

Scheller said the rates are sometimes less expensive than Comcast’s, with no overage fees and no buffering.

The approval of the recommendation was unanimous, with 2nd Ward Alderman Donald Cummings introducing the motion with a second from 1st Ward Alderman Mike Bruno. The Geneva Committee of the Whole also approved a recommendation to allow MetroNet to attach to city poles.

The Geneva Committee of the Whole also approved a draft resolution approving a preliminary/final plat of a subdivision for South Street Estates by M&C Realty. Additional sidewalk will be created in the east and west direction to link existing sidewalks on the east side of First Street that stops at South Street, as well as a sidewalk on River Lane that stops at South Street, according to Director of Community Development David DeGroot. The measure passed unanimously.

The committee also approved a special event application from the Geneva Chamber of Commerce for the 2017 Christmas Walk and House Tour on Dec. 1 and 2.

The City Council must take final votes on the measures.