WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — For the last several months, some West Des Moines residents have had to deal with wires and pipes placed in their front lawns by the city. Those wires and cables are part of a $40 million project the city has with Google to provide more options and faster internet to residents.
“We had a citizen survey in 2020, and one of the big things on that citizen survey was that people are wanting good reliable, fast internet. And one of the things that we thought we could do to help, was to get new companies in is to, is to put basically a series of pipes under the ground which are called conduit,” said Brian Hemesath, West Des Moines’ City Engineer.
The conduits protect internet fiber cables and ultimately create a citywide conduit network.
West Des Moines says residents will have the conduits sticking out in their lawns for two to four weeks before they can be planted underground. The city also says it will take two years before all fiber lines are up and running.
Several homeowners have called and complained about the eyesores but the city is reminding people — this is a short-term annoyance that carries long-term benefits.
“If each internet service provider had to come in separately and do this, you would have the same amount of inconvenience, every single time someone comes in. So now that this is in the ground, these internet service providers can just put their fiber and rent some space in those tubes from the city, and it’s pretty, pretty seamless at that point,” said Hemesath.
The city is reminding homeowners not to remove the conduits from their yards themselves because it will slow down the project’s progress.