Group works to start municipal internet in Dubuque following Net Neutrality repeal

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - High Speed Internet on the same bill as your trash and water. That's what people in one city are hoping for, making the local government your internet provider.

This push is all because of net neutrality - the rules that prohibited internet providers from speeding up or slowing down certain websites or content. On Thursday, the FCC did away with those rules.

When it comes to high speed internet access - members of Dubuque Municipal Internet believe it's a necessity.

"You can't even apply for a job in this city if you don't have internet access," Steve Meier said.

More of a utility than a luxury.

"The broadband service would be owned by the people and it would be a utility like water or trash and since it's something that everyone needs we wanted it to be like as accessible as possible and as locally controlled as possible," Christine Darr said.

Christine Darr is heading up the initiative. She says she started looking into it as soon as she heard Net Neutrality could get repealed.

"I don't think that they spent millions of dollars in order to repeal net neutrality for no reason I think that they are very interested in changing the system so that it is more profitable for them," Darr said.

They're making what they call a more democratic internet. Taking inspiration from Cedar Falls which already has something similar.

"Cedar Falls which is like a city that's comparable in size has municipal so I am definitely interested in learning more from them in what they have done," Darr said.

They're asking people to sign a petition. Once they get to 400 signatures they are going to hold a public forum and start talking about specifics. Then they'll go to city council.

"We're gonna give people internet one way or another and we're not going to let it be the haves and the have-nots situation," Meier said.

The group wants to work with the city to figure out the best way to go about it, but the one major hurdle they say they will have is cost.