Business

ImOn working to expand broadband offerings in Iowa City area

ImOn Communciations
ImOn Communciations

In January, Cedar Rapids-based ImOn Communications announced plans to expand residential broadband services to Iowa City and Coralville.

The service will include fiber-to-the-home installations for broadband and phone offerings.

ImOn first entered the Iowa City market in 2016 with business broadband and telephone services. Last year, the company expanded its offerings to include residential broadband for mixed-use and apartment buildings.

ImOn’s entry into the Iowa City market didn’t come without a challenge. Blooming Grove, N.Y.-based internet service provider Mediacom Communications in 2015 filed a lawsuit against the city of Iowa City over agreements the city made with a ImOn that allowed the company to expand services in the city without a cable franchise agreement.

Mediacom, which does have a franchise agreement, has to pay certain fees to Iowa City to provide its cable TV service.

The lawsuit later was expanded to include ImOn, but then dropped last year after a U.S. Appeals Court panel upheld a previous ruling that the lawsuit should be dismissed.

ImOn already provides services in Cedar Rapids and Dubuque. Last year, the communications company announced plans for a $1 million investment to increase bandwidth speeds across its service footprint in parts of Cedar Rapids.

Folience, The Gazette’s parent company, is an investor in ImOn.

WHAT’S HAPPENED SINCE

ImOn officials last month announced that the first phase of a network design had been completed, and ground soon would be broken on the multiyear effort to build out residential internet in the Iowa City area.

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Lisa Rhatigan, ImOn’s vice president of marketing, said in an email that weather has prevented work from starting, but she expects the first customers to receive service by late July.

The first residential service area will be south and east of downtown Iowa City, according to an April news release.

In the news release, ImOn CEO Patrice Carroll said sales representatives already have begun speaking with residents and potential customers within the target area.

• Comments: (319) 398-8309; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

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