DES MOINES, Iowa – Gov. Kim Reynolds announced on Tuesday that the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) 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.
“Build it and they will come. The nearly 200 applications as well as the size and scope of these projects reflect the demand and need for quality accessible broadband throughout Iowa,” Reynolds said. “This effort will open new doors for Iowa communities large and small, resulting in one of the most significant broadband build-outs in the entire country.”
Universal broadband access for Iowa was a goal put forth by Governor Reynolds in her 2021 Condition of the State address. In 2021 the Iowa State Legislature saw fit to fund the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program with $100 million dollars towards achieving that goal. The grant is administered by the OCIO. Applications were accepted from July 1 to July 28, 2021.
In total, the 178 applications requested over $292 million in grant funding. This equates to nearly a 3-1 ratio of funds requested to funds available, which is why the state of Iowa will also look to leverage federal funds.
The Notice of Intent to Award for the grant funds will be announced in September.