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School board balks at iFiber proposal

ROCK FALLS – East Coloma School wants to connect to the iFiber network, but the school is hesitant to sign on without a guarantee of service.

The iFiber project will bring faster Internet speeds to northwest Illinois.

The $69 million broadband project, expected to be complete this summer, will provide subsidized access to eligible public sector organizations, such as schools, libraries, health care facilities, municipal buildings and public safety facilities.

East Coloma School wants to connect to the higher-speed network, but first wants a guarantee the service will be available.

The Illinois Fiber Resources Group wants to lay its fiber-optic cable along the same track as existing cable in Rock Falls, but must get permission from the Rock Falls Electric Utility, which operates the local broadband network.

“They anticipate getting it, but they don’t have it yet,” Superintendent Kevin Andersen told the school board Tuesday night.

East Coloma might not be able to connect to the network if iFiber cannot get approval from the city to tap into the path of its existing cable, he added.

Board member Neal Folgers cautioned the board against committing to the project.

“We’re expected to commit to them when they can’t commit to us to give us the service?” he said. “We can’t act on it until they’re sure.”

The school board tabled the proposal until next month.

Also on Tuesday, the board:

n Approved a contract for middle school teacher Jessica Wollenburg. She replaces Jeff Steder.

n Accepted a proposal from middle school teacher Julie Gallentine to take over as yearbook coordinator and incorporate the yearbook into the eighth-grade computer curriculum.

n Approved a new facility use policy and form.

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