Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a new bill into law on April 28th, 2021 that addresses the poor status of the state’s broadband infrastructure. This new legislation was unanimously passed in both the Iowa House and Senate with support from both Democrats and Republicans and will provide statewide funding for broadband internet expansion.
Broadband Expansion in Iowa
This isn’t the first time we have seen funds being allocated to network expansion in Iowa. In fact, Iowa has allocated millions of dollars in federal grants to address this issue in the last year and a half. Reynolds said that Iowa ranks second to last when it comes to average internet speeds and roughly one third of the 99 counties are considered broadband “deserts”. This in combination with the increasing need for higher speeds and bandwidth due to many schools, businesses, and healthcare providers moving to virtual formats, has increased pressure on service providers and lawmakers to expand broadband networks and increase speeds. The digital divide in Iowa has never been more apparent and Iowa has a lot of catching up to do to stay on track with the rest of the country and the world.
What is the Broadband Policy Bill?
This statewide grant program has pledged $150 million for high-speed internet expansion and allows companies to apply for reimbursements to cover up to 75% of project costs to install and expand network infrastructure in areas that are underserved. The legislation has created grants at a few levels. Some grants are aimed bringing faster internet with minimum upload/download speeds of 100 megabits per second to areas where those speeds are not currently available. And some grants are focused on bringing internet at lower speeds to rural areas where it was not previously available. Reynolds stated that these funds could be supplemented with federal grants of the same nature.
BDC Will Be Your Wingman Anytime
BDC Group knows the importance of fast, reliable internet service to the daily lives of our communities. Our team is here to help organizations, service providers, utility companies, and rural cooperatives bring this essential service to each and every community in Iowa and across the country. From long haul fiber installation services and urban short shots to splicing, maintenance and emergency services, BDC Group is prepared to help. Our team of experts are devoted to providing our partners with innovative solutions and exceptional service to achieve your infrastructure goals, help protect your investment and prepare for the future.
Ready to talk? Contact our team to find out how we can help you with your next broadband network expansion project.