Iowa communities that suffer from poor connectivity and want better broadband infrastructure now have another possible funding source, but they need to take action before March 15, 2019. Iowa’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) is now making $1.3 million in grants available to specific areas that want to improve local connectivity.
In addition to Internet access providers, local governments, utilities, and “other entities that provide or intend to provide broadband service” are eligible to apply and receive funding. Projects that can receive funding must be new projects that have not started installation of broadband infrastructure. “Broadband” is consistent with the FCC’s definition of 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 3 Mbps upload.
Funding of up to 15 percent of the estimated cost of a broadband project is available.
The awards are specifically meant to be distributed to projects that will serve “targeted areas” within the state. Those areas — deemed as locations where no provider offers broadband as defined by the FCC — cover large portions of the state . The OCIO has provided a map visualizing where those many targeted areas are across Iowa. With the “Open Map in New Window” option, users can submit specific information, such as addresses and census blocks, to determine if a location is within a “targeted area.” The blue areas indicate "targeted areas."
- Applications are only accepted through the Iowa Grants System between February 18th and March 15, 2019.
- Applications will not be accepted prior to February 18th, 2019.
- All questions should be submitted to the OCIO before January 11th, 2019 at ociogrants(at)iowa.gov.
- For detailed information on the application, check out the OCIO Broadband Grants page, where the office has provided examples, guides, and checklists to help with your application.
Good luck, Iowa communities!