CFU, mayor react to Obama visit - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

CFU, mayor react to Obama visit

Posted: Updated:
  • KWWL.com LinksMore>>

  • Obama in Iowa

    Obama in Iowa

    Full coverage of President Obama's visit to Cedar Falls and his speech -- and reactions -- on faster broadband Internet access.
    More >>
    Full coverage of President Obama's visit to Cedar Falls and his speech -- and reactions -- on faster broadband Internet access.
    More >>
CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

For the first time since the 2012 election, President Barack Obama will return to the Cedar Valley.

The trip comes as part of his runup to the State of the Union address, during which the President has been making issue-based stops around the country, including Phoenix, Detroit and Tennessee. On the agenda for Cedar Falls: a stop at Cedar Falls Utilities, to stump for better access to broadband internet. CFU was the first provider in Iowa to launch gigabit internet, a type of extremely high-speed service

"If you're a big enough company, like Deere, you can buy that service to come to your business," said Mayor Jon Crews.

However, he said CFU's offering lets smaller businesses have access too, which is a huge draw. Earlier this year, Google also recognized Cedar Falls as an eCity.

"It's a good system to have," Crews said. "It's good to be recognized by Google and by the President of the United States in a few months. It's a good combination to have."

A CFU representative said they're excited to host the President.

"Of course, we're so pleased and honored that the President is going to visit CFU," said Betty Zeman, media relations.

The CFU event will be invite-only, and closed to the public. Zeman said it's because of limited space.

"We're not having this at the UNI-dome," she said. "It's a fairly small space."

Obama is expected to deliver a speech. Throughout, CFU will remain open and available to customers. They will also live-update their website, CFU.net, with road closures.

However, not everyone is looking forward to seeing Obama. An event-invite is circulating for a protest at CFU.

Waterloo and Cedar Falls Police have been called up to provide security for the visit. They had about a week's notice.

Cedar Falls Chief Jeff Olson said it's a lot of work.

"It really is," he said. "You've got a lot of people. It takes a lot of people to work the security in the way the Secret Service wants it done."

Air Force One is expected to land in Waterloo. The President's route to CFU will not be released for security reasons, but Olson said to expect road closures in the area.

"You could be stuck for a while," he said, recommending people avoid the area Wednesday afternoon.

He said the preparations aren't difficult, but it is an all-hands-on-deck situation.

"There's a lot to do in a short period of time," he said. "You've got to make it right. It's got to work, but the Secret Service knows what they're doing, and they've done it many times before."

Powered by Frankly