The State of Iowa received 178 applications from broadband providers for the latest Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program according to a release. The requests stem from the $100 million broadband investment from this past legislative session.
“Build it and they will come. The nearly 200 applications, as well as the size and scope of these projects, reflect the demand and need for quality accessible broadband throughout Iowa,” said Gov. Reynolds. “This effort will open new doors for Iowa communities large and small, resulting in one of the most significant broadband build-outs in the entire country.”
Universal broadband access for Iowa was a goal put forth by Governor Reynolds in her 2021 Condition of the State address. In 2021, the Iowa State Legislature funded the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program with $100 million dollars towards achieving that goal. The grant is administered by the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO). Applications were accepted from July 1st to July 28, 2021.
In total, the 178 applications requested more than $292 million in grant funding. This equates to nearly a 3-1 ratio of funds requested to funds available, which is why the state of Iowa will also look to leverage federal funds.
The Notice of Intent to Award for the grant funds will be announced in September.