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State awards nearly $100 million in grants to Iowa broadband providers

The state of Iowa has announced the recipients of the State of Iowa Broadband Grants Program. 39 applicants have been awarded a total of $97,500,000 for broadband infrastructure as part of the latest Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program.

The awards ranged from as little as $28,000 for Perry Rural Broadband Expansion all the way up to $15 million for a Western Iowa Networks FTTP Construction Project.

“Expanding broadband across our state continues to be a top priority,” said Gov. Reynolds in a statement. “It is clear by the sheer volume and scope of applications that the need is there. Today’s award announcement will go a long way toward meeting that need, and we won’t stop here.”

OCIO received 178 applications from broadband providers for the Grant Program with requests nearing $300 million. 

Due to the overwhelming amount of interest and success of this program, the state of Iowa said it plans to expedite a new grant opportunity utilizing ARPA federal funds to build upon the $100 million in state funding for this grant program. Details on this new grant opportunity will be released in the near future. 

Below are the 39 broadband providers that received funding. A list of all of the applications received can be found here.

Premier Communications, Inc.PC (Rural)$7,405,174.31
South Slope Cooperative Telephone CompanyRural Tiffin FTTP Project$1,037,881.73
IAMO Communications, Inc.IAMO Connecting Rural Iowa Project$2,942,174.56
Minburn Telephone CompanyDallas Center South Broadband Expansion$793,410.60
Minburn Telephone CompanyDallas Center North/Adel North Broadband Expansion$28,755.64
Minburn Telephone CompanyPerry Rural Broadband Expansion$23,625.10
NEIT Services, LLCRural Postville 1 Gbps And Beyond Fiber-to-the-Home Expansion (Primary)$2,167,004.19
Cedar Falls Utilities2021 CFU Fiber Grant Application$2,338,336.60
Farmers and Merchants Mutual Telephone CompanyFarmers and Merchants (FarmTel) Pekin NW Jefferson Project$716,011.81
Central Scott Telephone CompanyNorth Scott Rural Broadband Expansion$4,280,286.19
Farmers Mutual Cooperative Telephone CompanyAspinwall Rural Area Cares #6 July 2021$609,539.79
Citizens Mutual Telephone CooperativeRural Davis/Wapello FTTH Expansion$1,610,874.73
FARMERS COOPERATIVE TELEPHONEDysart Rural Fiber Project$2,724,134.40
Manning Municipal UtilitiesManning Rural, Hwy 141 No and So. NOFA 006$2,195,220.67
Danville Mutual Telephone CompanyLowell/New London FTTP Project$1,670,925.00
Stratford Mutual TelephoneCentral Iowa Broadband Expansion 2$3,887,962.58
Ace Telephone AssociationRural Iowa FTTH – Harpers Ferry, Ossian, Clermont, and Ft Atkinson exchanges$12,165,592.49
Lehigh Valley Coop Telephone AssociationRural Fort Dodge Project$251,501.00
Danville Mutual Telephone CompanyLee County FTTP Project$3,549,250.00
Marne & Elk Horn Telephone CompanyPOTT CO/UNDERWOOD RURAL FIBER BUILD- MEH$4,550,861.64
Webster-Calhoun Cooperative Telephone AssociationNorth Central Webster County Project$2,604,458.36
Farmers Mutual Cooperative Telephone CompanyHWY 59 & 141 Intersection Cares #6 July 2021$50,601.00
Casey Mutual Telephone CoCasey Mutual Rural Fiber Project$2,648,200.05
Alpine Communications, LCAlpine Communications Rural Elgin Exchange NOFA #006$3,292,078.84
Alpine Communications, LCAlpine Communications Osterdock Rural NOFA #006$1,699,319.57
Alpine Communications, LCAlpine Communications Elkader Rural South_North NOFA #006$5,468,428.29
Alpine Communications, LCAlpine Communications Elkader Rural South_South NOFA #006$4,318,883.67
Mechanicsville Telephone CompanySouth of Buchanan$78,397.41
Premier Communications, Inc.Premier – Ashton (Rural)$1,745,433.90
BTC, Inc.Western Iowa Networks FTTP Construction Project$15,073,573.81
Colo TelephoneNOFA#6 Rural Northeast Nevada$60,927.50
West Iowa Telephone CompanyRural Plymouth County$40,344.83
Board of Water, Electric, and Communications Trustees of the City of Muscatine IowaEast Muscatine County Fiber Project$547,148.47
Hawkeye Telephone CompanyRural Arlington 1 Gbps And Beyond FTTH Expansion project$485,370.40
Hawkeye Telephone CompanyRural Fayette 1 Gbps And Beyond FTTH Expansion project$619,365.54
East Buchanan Telephone CooperativeEBTC County Line Project$81,304.12
Lockridge NetworksRinggold and Union County Broadband Expansion$289,977.00
Hawkeye Telephone CompanyRural Maynard 1 Gbps And Beyond FTTH Expansion project$2,320,363.48
Hawkeye Telephone CompanyRural West Union 1 Gbps And Beyond FTTH Expansion project$1,127,300.38

Previous coverage

178 applications received for broadband grants following $100 million investment -Aug. 17, 2021

Expanding Broadband Access Across Iowa -Sept. 9, 2020

State awards nearly $100 million in grants to Iowa broadband providers | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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