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Moline Plans Broadband Internet Network

Plans are in the works to make high-speed, broadband internet service available for every home and business in Moline. Monday morning, city officials are scheduled to open bids from would-be service providers.

City Administrator Bob Vitas says the goal is to have fiber optic connections for every property in Moline.

"We're also looking for them to provide in addition to that, they would be providing fiber to all of our 104 traffic control signals throughout the city so that we can regulate and control them remotely as opposed to today having to go to each one individually."

In addition, fiber optic lines would allow the city to set up cameras for traffic control and security at nearly 500 locations, including schools and parks.

Vitas says the drive to make broadband available has been going on across the country for 10 to 20 years, but it accelerated during the pandemic so people could work from home and children could attend school remotely.

"To remain competitive for economic development purposes, to be able to be a smart city, is an attraction for outside investment as well."

Vitas says whichever vendor is chosen will pay the cost of building the network, and then be able to charge subscription fees to its customers in Moline.

A consultant will review the bids, and possibly make a recommendation by the end of the month.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois. While a graduate student in the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield (then known as Sangamon State University), he got his first taste of public radio, covering Illinois state government for WUIS. Here in the Quad Cities, Herb worked for WHBF Radio before coming to WVIK in 1987. Herb also produces the weekly public affairs feature Midwest Week – covering the news behind the news by interviewing reporters about the stories they cover.