178 applications received for broadband grants following $100 million investment

The state of Iowa has received 178 applications from broadband providers for the latest Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program. The request stems from the $100 million broadband investment that was secured this past legislative session. 

Most of the grants will go toward providing internet service with download and upload speeds of at least 100 megabits per second.

According to BroadbandNow, Iowa ranks as the 45th best-connected state in the US. Despite relatively even broadband coverage throughout the state, speed tests reveal that Iowa’s average download speed is 47.1 Mbps, which is the second-slowest nationwide. Only Alaska’s average speed is slower than Iowa’s.

Iowa Broadband Map

In total, the 178 applicants requested over $292 million in grant funding, nearly three times the amount of total funds available. Governor Reynolds says she intends to seek federal funds to supplement the $100 million in state grant money that will be awarded.

The grant awards will be announced in September.

Previous Coverage

Gov. Reynolds signs budget bill into law providing $100M to broadband grant program -May 26, 2021

Expanding Broadband Access Across Iowa –Sept. 9, 2020