A new internet provider is coming to Norfolk.
The new company is Allo Communications, a Nebraska-based company founded in Imperial and now operating in Lincoln as a part of Nelnet. The council approved an ordinance granting Allo the right to establish a cable television and internet system at its regular meeting Monday night.
Allo is different from most telecommunications companies, said founder and president Brad Moline. The company builds fiber connections throughout the community and makes it available to all residents, businesses and government entities.
“We use (fiber) in a ubiquitous fashion, without avoiding or targeting certain areas,” Moline said. “We build it for the entire community in a rapid and safe fashion.”
Moline said the company is focused on being a part of and improving the community of Norfolk.
“We’ve had Norfolk on our list for some time,” Moline said. “I don’t say we’re going to make Norfolk a great community, I say we’re going to make a great community even better.”
He said Allo’s fiber system also would not quickly become obsolete.
“The technology of five years ago becomes antiquated,” Moline said. “We can hopefully future-proof the city with this fiber technology.”
Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning said Allo’s arrival is an exciting opportunity for Norfolk.
“This is a rare opportunity to have this Nebraska-based company that has established this model of building throughout the entire community,” Moenning said. “This is a huge economic development and quality-of-life opportunity.”
Moline said he anticipates construction to begin this spring and services could be available as soon as next year.
In other business, the council also approved an agreement with a private company to help develop the downtown area.
City administrator Andy Colvin said this agreement between Los Angeles-based real estate firm CBRE and the City of Norfolk is to help facilitate development in an area of downtown.
“It is a good time for us as a community to bring a professional on board who has some expertise in real estate transactions,” Colvin said. “This is very complex work, and essentially we want to prevent getting a bad deal.”
The specific area CBRE will help in overseeing is the corner of First Street and Norfolk Avenue. The agreement should cost no more than $20,000 from the city’s economic development funds, Colvin said.
Colvin said while the city wants developers to do business in Norfolk, those developments need to meet the needs of the community and businesses and CBRE can help oversee that.
“This area is going to be involving a lot of different parties with a lot of different interests,” Colvin said. “I think we want to make sure our interests as a community are being looked after, so that we are focusing on job creation, amenities and quality of life and not just trying to make a profit for shareholders, which we want to happen, but we want to help facilitate that as part of a greater picture of downtown.”
The only other item on the council’s agenda was an ordinance annexing land in southeast Norfolk.
The Norfolk City Council met Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Norfolk City Council Chambers.
Council members present: Mayor Josh Moenning, Dick Pfeil, Corey Granquist, Shane Clausen, Jim Lange, Gary L. Jackson, Rob Merrill, Fred Wiebelhaus and Thad Murren.
Council members absent: None.
Meeting lasted: 30 minutes.
Others in attendance: City staff, five; media representatives, three; and about 15 from the public.
— The council approved an ordinance to annex a tract of land near Highway 275 and South Victory Road.
— The council approved an agreement with CBRE Inc. for professional services related to development oversight and business recruitment in the downtown business district as a part of the voter-approved economic development plan.
— The council approved an ordinance granting permission for a cable television system to ALLO Communications LLC.