Fiber For Our Future supporting Tri-City Broadband for Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles, Illinois

Citizens of Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles Illinois
in support of Municipal Broadband
for our Communities

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City of Batavia
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Our cities currently operate a municipal electric, sewer, and water service that has been in existence for over 100 years. It has been providing reliable inexpensive service that is the envy of neighboring communities who pay much higher rates. Support and accountability for these services remains in our own hometowns and the responsiveness is excellent. Customer service for fiber optic broadband would be a HUGE improvement over what we are all currently used to.

Fiber-optic technology delivers Internet, voice and video at speeds from 128K to 100M bit/sec and beyond. On a fiber-optic network, data is transmitted as light impulses along thin strands of silica glass. Unlike copper cabling and wireless, optical fiber is not subject to electromagnetic interference because it uses light, not electricity. Fiber optics can also transmit data over much longer distances—exceeding 50 miles over fiber-optic cabling vs. a few thousand feet for copper cabling. Beyond HDTV, gaming, movies and teleworking with full-motion videoconferencing, other applications could include 3-D TV, virtual art museums, and the ability to deliver thousands of TV channels, each focused on a niche audience. A typical household will generally need a consistent 40 Mbps connection in order to utilize this next generation technology. Currently, a fiber optic system is the only technology that meets this standard.

The cities have already installed and are maintaining an important part of this fiber optic network within our communities for internal purposes. It is the belief of all three communities that state of the art telecommunications infrastructure is crucial to the long-term economic viability of the tri-cities region. Our city staffs already know how to install, operate and administer this service.

And, like with our electric service, when you call with a question, complaint, repair issue, billing question, etc. you get to speak to a live person who works for you in your city office. Responsiveness to problems is much quicker and more reliable.

Broadband would give all of our residents a choice for local and long distance service. This technology will allow all of the standard telephone services plus videoconferencing and other services that are not practical with current technology. The cities anticipate being very competitive in pricing while being able to offer superior service.


There is currently only one cable television provider in our area, and the municipal cable utility would introduce a new choice for residents. It would work in a similar manner to current cable providers. The City would subscribe and pay for individual channels that then would be offered to customers. The municipal utility would purchase packages for local channels, digital channels, movie channels and pay-per-view options. These would be collected by satellite and distributed to customers according to their subscription packages via the fiber-optic infrastructure.

There are 278 million people in the United States and 149 million of them are Internet users, according to the Computer Industry Almanac. That is roughly 54%. If we apply that percentage to our three communities, it would indicate that there are potentially about 45,900 Internet users here. It's not just for casual browsing anymore. Many people are required to use the Internet in their homes for work and school.

Fiber optic cable transmits data at a speed up to 100 Mbps, two times faster than the fastest wireless, 50 times faster than a cable modem, and almost 75 times faster than DSL. And if you're stuck with a regular modem and dialup access... well, you know how slow it is!

Even though cable modem is beginning to be available in our area, it will NOT be available to businesses and it will never compete with the speed, reliability, and clarity of fiber optic. And we will be able to have well-supported fiber optic connectivity at an affordable price!

Small and medium-size businesses that need Internet connectivity (and who doesn't?) currently have to locate within 10,000 feet of the Ameritech switch in downtown Geneva in order to get affordable Internet connectivity at a business-class speed. Businesses that are farther away (like most of Batavia, all of the area west of Randall Road, all of the area north of Route 64, and north of 64 east of the river) have very few options and they are priced much too high for a small business to afford. Of course, anyone can buy a T1 line, but an average minimum fee of $700 a month is prohibitive.

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