NE Iowa News

NE Iowa News

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Grants awarded from Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program will help more than 13,000 business, homes and schools


By Chris Adams | Jan 1, 2020

Broadband is coming to rural Iowa. | Pixabay: Lorenzo Cafaro

A recent Iowa House Republicans Report newsletter states that several applicants have received grants from a rural broadband program.

A notice of intent was announced by the Office of the Chief Information Officer in November awarding grants for 17 applications.

The grants, facilitated through the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program, totaled $5 million. Coupled with state grant money, almost $44 million in funding will be available for broadband infrastructure projects in the application service areas.

The highest amount of $1 million was awarded to Western Iowa Wireless for the deployment of broadband infrastructure to close the broadband gap and bridge needs, the newsletter indicated.

Omnitel Communications received a combined amount of nearly $773,000 for two rural broadband expansion projects.

Communication service provider applicants are eligible for up to 15 percent of project costs, the newsletter reported.

Broadband access will be available to nearly 13,000 homes, schools and businesses across 33 counties after the completion of these service provider undertakings.

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