From Iowa’s Office of the Governor:
DES MOINES – Governor Culver and the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) are announcing a major step forward in increasing high-speed Internet access and adoption across the state. A new, detailed report titled Iowa Broadband: Current Market Analysis & Initial Recommendations for Acceleration of Iowa’s Broadband Market, http://www.connectiowa.org/_documents/ConnectIowaBroadbandAnalysis082010FINAL.pdf, offers the state’s first look at key broadband market data that will be used to form a clear, strategic plan for broadband expansion in Iowa.
“Broadband service is now available to about 95 percent of Iowa households, which is fabulous, yet only about 66 percent of those households are subscribing to the service,” Culver said. “Further expansion and adoption of quality broadband service in Iowa will ensure the future of quality jobs in our state as well as continued economic competitiveness. High-speed Internet also offers citizens access to vital services like telemedicine, distance learning, and e-government that can improve all Iowans’ quality of life.”
This report provides a detailed review of the current state of broadband in Iowa that will spark discussion between multiple broadband stakeholders in the state on key goals and strategies to expand and enhance the broadband experience for all Iowans. The IUB conducted this initial assessment of the state’s broadband landscape based on the data collected from the Connect Iowa mapping and planning initiative. The report is being used to support the work of the Iowa Broadband Deployment Governance Board (IBDGB). The IBDGB was created by Governor Culver in 2009, as part of the IJOBS initiative. The IBDGB was charged with developing a comprehensive plan to promote the sustainable deployment and adoption of high speed broadband access in Iowa. The IBDGB expects to complete the plan in 2011.
“The data contained in this report will invaluable to the IBDGB as it works toward its goal of stimulating the growth and availability high-speed broadband availability in Iowa,” said Krista Tanner, IUB member and chair of the IBDGB. “While the report shows that about 95 percent of Iowans have access to broadband today, the report also highlights that fewer Iowans have access to broadband at the higher speeds that will be necessary to compete in tomorrow’s economy. The IBDGB will use this data as a springboard to engage stakeholders like elected officials, civic leaders, educators, economic developers, and private entrepreneurs to help it better understand Iowa’s broadband challenges. The IBDGB will rely on insights from these key stakeholders as it works to overcome these challenges and create an action plan for Iowa’s future.”
The 58-page assessment gives a snapshot of current broadband availability and usage in Iowa, defines where and why availability gaps exist with detailed supporting research, offers strategy and policy recommendations to close the gaps, and presents a thorough technology assessment of Iowa’s current broadband service infrastructure.
On June 18, 2010, Governor Culver announced the release of the state’s interactive broadband mapping application through the Connect Iowa initiative. Connect Iowa is funded through a $2.2 million award by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to launch the initiative in the state and carry out the work over a five-year period. Under the NTIA State Broadband Data and Development grant program, Connect Iowa is charged with creating statewide awareness, mapping, and maintaining the state broadband inventory for two years, and conduct planning efforts for a period of five years. These funds are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
All Iowa residents are encouraged to visit the Connect Iowa website, www.connectiowa.org, to join this important initiative and offer feedback. The website gives residents a one-stop portal to find broadband providers at their address, check their current Internet speeds, notify officials of unserved areas, and share stories of how high-speed Internet has impacted their lives.
Press Release: Governor Culver Announces Launch of Broadband Availability Map
Press Release: Iowa Awarded $2.2 Million For Broadband Initiative
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