Governor Kim Reynolds says she’ll “swing back” next year and ask legislators for another $15 million in state incentives for private companies as well as cities that plan to expand broadband coverage in underserved areas.
“I hope it changes things drastically,” Reynolds says. “I have two daughters who live in Earlham and they don’t have the kind of coverage that they need and, you know, everything they use requires broadband capacity.”
Reynolds had asked lawmakers to set aside $10 million this year for the effort, but the legislature approved half of her request. Reynolds says state officials are letting companies and cities sign up on a waiting list, anticipating more broadband grant money will be available next year.
“It’ll be really good for the state,” Reynolds says. “It’ll be really good for rural Iowa. It impacts everything we do from tractors and precision farming to health care to education — to everything.”
Telecommunications companies as well as cities and towns may apply for state grants to cover up to 15 percent of the cost of new broadband infrastructure.