UPDATE Currently ranked in the 45th position for states with reliable broadband services, Iowa aims to shoot up to the top of the list, says Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. The governor’s office has announced a plan that aims to bring Iowans up to speed by 2025.
The plan starts with funding, and Reynolds foresees a $450 million investment. Each of the first three years would see funds available of $150 million, with boosts from matching grants ranging from 35 to 75 percent. Private investment has also been encouraged.
Service areas have been classed into three tiers denoting the strength of broadband capabilities presently covering that area. Providers willing to work with the most severely underserved population in Tier 1 will receive the most financial assistance for reaching out to those Iowans. These targeted areas would qualify for 75 percent of their project costs covered. Tier 2 assistance would be set at 50 percent, with Tier 3 set at 35 percent.
Service must be delivered with at least 100 Mbps download and upload speeds to qualify for grant funding. Reynolds has indicated that struggling with the pandemic over the past year has pointed out the absolute necessity of establishing a digital infrastructure for Iowa.