Residents in and around a couple of northwest Nodaway County communities will receive improved telephone service and faster, better Internet access later this year after the Coin, Iowa-based IAMO Telephone Co. replaces existing underground copper lines with fiber-optic cable.
IAMO managers briefed the Nodaway County Commission on the project Friday, saying that the upgrade will affect more than 600 town and rural customers with addresses linked to the communities of Elmo and Clearmont on the Missouri side of the line and Northboro in Iowa.
Outside Plant Manager Richard Kingery said he expects the work to be completed by fall. The village of Westboro, Mo., is slated for a similar upgrade in 2014. Burlington Junction, also a part of the IAMO exchange, is already served by fiber-optic technology.
Like IAMO's existing copper cable, which is to be removed, the new wire will go 100 percent underground. The project will eliminate existing above-ground service pylons, however, replacing them with manhole-like maintenance ports.
The company is providing to-the-house connections, which is an expensive proposition in such a sparsely populated area, but Kingery said the upgrade is needed to "better serve the needs of our customers."
IAMO plans to lay about 135 miles of cable this summer at a cost of $15,000 a mile.
Currently, the exchange serves more than 1,200 customers in Page and Fremont counties in Iowa and Nodaway and Atchison counties in Missouri.
Kingery said all users within the exchange will have access to fiber-optics with the completion of the Westboro area upgrade next year.