The Iowa Utilities Board unveiled a report today that shows 95% of Iowans have access to high-speed internet. Krista Tanner, a member of the Utilities Board, is also chair of the Iowa Broadband Deployment Governance Board that was appointed by the governor to develop a plan to promote the adoption of high speed broadband access across the state.
Tanner says this report gives them a lot to work with and they’ll use the data to find gaps in availability and figure out how to fill the gaps. Tanner says they will also try to figure out why people aren’t adopting broadband. Tanner says this report gives a more detailed county-by-county breakdown they can use, and cites one area that raises questions.
Tanner says while 95% of households across the state have broadband available, only 68% of the households in Ringgold County have it available. Tanner says that’s in contrast to Pocahontas County — which has 99.98% availability — and it is also a highly rural county. She says the information in the report can help them analyze what Pocahontas County is doing and use that information to help other similar counties.
Tanner says they do know there’s a strong penetration of fixed wireless platforms in the area, and they need to examine if that high concentration of platforms is the reason why the broadband penetration is so good in the county. Tanner says they also want to find out why people who have access to broadband service are not using it.
Tanner says only about 66% of Iowans subscribe to broadband, so 34% of households aren’t using it. She says 29% have the service available, and don’t subscribe, and they want to find out why. Tanner says they’ll be talking with elected officials, civic leaders, educators, economic developers, and private entrepreneurs to help it better understand Iowa’s broadband challenges.
You can see the entire report titled “Iowa Broadband: Current Market Analysis & Initial Recommendations for Acceleration of Iowa’s Broadband Market” on-line at:www.connectiowa.org.