DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) — Gov. Reynolds announced $5 million in grants to rural Iowa to give more Iowans access to critical broadband infrastructure.
According to a release, the $5 million dollars in additional broadband grants is the latest in a series of Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grants.
“The future economy and quality of life in rural Iowa depend on every Iowa home, business and farm having high-speed Internet access,” said Gov. Reynolds. “This year alone we have been able to invest nearly $200 million dollars in private and public funds for broadband infrastructure. By leveraging state, federal, and private resources, we will continue to open the door for greater innovation and opportunity in all parts of Iowa.”
Gov. Reynolds added that COVID-19 underscored the urgency of connecting underserved and unserved areas to the information superhighway to support online learning, telehealth and working from home.
The first Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grants were made in 2018. To date, more than 61,000 homes, schools, and businesses are slated to get access to broadband service in rural Iowa. With matching funds from the Empower Rural Iowa and CARES funded grants, the total infrastructure investment in Iowa comes to more than $121 million dollars and is growing with this latest round of broadband grants.
The application window for the latest round of broadband grants opens October 29 through November 22nd.