Iowa to use $200M in federal COVID recovery funding for broadband grants

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Monday she will use $200 million in federal coronavirus relief funding for broadband grants, tripling the amount of state grant money available for broadband projects this year.

Last month, Iowa awarded an initial round of $97.5 million in grants to 39 broadband providers, but the state received 178 applications for nearly $300 million.

The 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.

“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,” Gov. Reynolds said in a statement. “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.” 

Applications will open on Oct. 25 and may be submitted through Nov. 22.  

Previous coverage

State awards nearly $100 million in grants to Iowa broadband providers -Sept. 15, 2021

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

Expanding Broadband Access Across Iowa -Sept. 9, 2020