Governor Branstad & Lt. Governor Reynolds
As the Governor and Lt. Governor of Iowa, we believe in ensuring that every Iowan has an equal opportunity to access quality broadband technology. Connectivity is a great equalizer for our state. We also believe that every Iowan – students, small business owners, rural health care providers, and public safety officers – can benefit from quality access, adoption, and use of broadband technology.
Gov. Branstad signs Connect Every Acre bill into law
On June 22, 2015, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed the Connect Every Acre high-speed broadband bill into law. The bill, House File 655, encourages the expansion of high-speed broadband internet to all corners of the state helping to foster growth for modern agriculture, increase access for rural communities and school districts and connecting small business to the global marketplace.
The Battelle 2.0 study found that 31% of businesses surveyed – 13,000 in all – that want higher broadband speeds cannot get it at their current location. The Battelle 2.0 study concluded, “In broadband development, the uneven development in Iowa is of great concern. For this updated economic development roadmap, the priority is placed on addressing the business needs for broadband speeds and reliability, no matter where a business is located in Iowa, including Iowa’s farmers who increasingly need to access broadband for new innovations involving precision agriculture.”
House File 655 does the following to strengthen broadband in Iowa
- Provides for the coordination and facilitation of broadband access in targeted services throughout the state.
- Establishes a grant program to award grants to communication service providers by installing broadband infrastructure in targeted service areas that prioritize connecting Iowa farms, schools and communities.
- Creates uniform rules and limitations for wireless communications facilities and infrastructure pertaining to cell towers.
- Tasks the office of the Chief Information Officer to lead and coordinate the installation of fiber optic conduit where it doesn’t currently exist