Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announces $200 million broadband grant opportunity

(Marlon Hall/KCRG)
Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 4:27 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KWQC) - Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Monday announced that $200 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding is now available for grants offered through the Office of the Chief Information Officer to improve broadband access statewide.

In September, Reynolds and OCIO announced the awardees of the latest $100 million state-funded Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program.

Due to the overwhelming need and interest in the program, OCIO received 178 applications requesting a total of $300 million – the state is using $200 million in federal funds to build upon it, according to a media release.

This new grant program allows communications service providers, including telecommunication companies and local governments, to apply for up to 60% of their broadband project costs in eligible areas of the state.

Communications service providers are encouraged to apply for a grant to install broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved locations, according to the release.

“Broadband has never been more important for our future. I continue to hear from Iowans who still lack access to the broadband speeds necessary to start a business, telework, or connect with a healthcare provider,” Reynolds said. “With this additional investment, we have invested more than $300 million this year alone on bringing future-ready broadband to rural and unserved areas of our state.”

Questions about the opportunity may be submitted to the OCIO beginning Friday. Applications may be submitted to the OCIO from Oct. 25 through Nov. 22.

Visit the OCIO website for more information.

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