One of the most important things to understand is that connectivity is critical. It’s what binds us all together. And in an age where technology is essential in many of our services, we need to ensure that more people have access. And in many places. that’s still not a reality. In rural areas, in tribal communities, and other remote areas, there are still people who don’t have access to the internet. One of the ways that this shows up is a lack of access to broadband. The term broadband refers to high-speed internet service. In Iowa, this lack of access in rural areas is a real problem. And because fewer people live and work in these areas, it’s not an issue that the private sector can reasonably be expected to fix. That’s why it’s key that Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has signed a bill into law, expanding access to broadband.
And speaking of broadband, here’s a grant for West Virginia County and Municipal Governments To Expand Broadband Access.
Expanding Access to Broadband a Priority for Iowa
There are lots of reasons that expanding access to broadband are important. There are lots of things that require high speed internet.
Here are just a few:
- Flexible or remote work. Obviously being able to communicate with your team is important, as is being able to access Google Docs or other platforms you may need for your day-to-day tasks.
- Telehealth: this can be especially critical if you live in a place with limited providers. This is especially an issue in rural areas that have a shortage of healthcare workers among other disparities. Being able to have access to Telehealth services can fill some of the gaps. and defray some of the costs as well.
- Access to banking information: Something many people take for granted is being able to do things like paying their bills online, checking their accounts, and sending money to family or friends instantly. Not having access to proper broadband can hinder this.
- Checking the weather: This may sound silly, but it’s really not. Being able to know what weather is coming days or weeks in advance can be crucial. Especially in farming communities. Expanding access to broadband can allow individuals, families, and communities to be able to make plans. It can ensure that they are prepared in the event of a natural disaster of a major storm.
So What Does This Mean for Iowa?
Well, according to Governor Kim Reynolds it means that the state government is going to work and fill the gaps. The Governor spoke a bit before signing the bill.
The bill addresses a glaring need. As we talked about early on in this session, Iowa currently has the second-slowest broadband speed in the country and a third of our counties are in broadband deserts, said Reynolds.
This bill will create a tiered system with areas of the state having slower internet being prioritized. Providers can apply to the state for up to 75% of the costs associated with installation when it increases the upload and download speeds to 100 megabytesPS. In parts of the state that require improvement but have some internet system set up, the state’s contribution will decrease to 35% of costs.
The governor also said that Iowa legislators agreed to fund $100 million in funding for this program. This falls short of $150 million in funding the governor requested. However, Governor Reynolds plans on using federal coronavirus pandemic aid to cover the remaining costs.
GrantWatch Understands the Need for Broadband Expansion
We understand that more people need access to high-speed internet. Remote teams depend on connecting to the internet and maintaining high speeds for things like video-conferencing. That’s why we have an entire technology category on GrantWatch with listed grants that nonprofits can search to find what they are looking for. Use our advanced search tool to find grants using an exact keyword for your search.
If you have any questions about these grant categories, or anything else, feel free to reach out to our customer support team by calling 561-249-4129!