Iowa has announced funding of $149 million to be distributed among several service providers through its Empower Rural Broadband Grant Program.
Here are the details of the news.
Local providers, Mediacom share $149M in Iowa broadband funding
The State of Iowa has announced the winners for the latest round of its Empower Rural Broadband Grant Program, offering huge grants to providers this week.
Among many providers, Citizens Mutual Telephone Cooperative, Mediacom and Mediapolis Telephone Company received the top three biggest grants with $20.5 million, $19.2 million and $17.3 million respectively.
Additionally, several other local providers were allowed to share a grant of over $149 million to cover around 12,600 locations in the State.
The application for this round of Iowa’s Empower Rural Broadband Grant Program began in July and ended in August.
Out of a total of Ninety-one applications for the program submitted to the Iowa Department of Management, only thirty-three projects received grants under the program.
The awards are made by the Iowa Department of Management Division of Information Technology, which has also specified four companies as reserve awardees.
The department explained, “Reserve awardees are those whose applications were not awarded above due to complete overlap by a higher-ranking applicant.”
“The agency may offer an award to a reserve awardee where a higher-ranking awarded applicant declines an award that impacts overlapping eligible service locations in the reserve awardee’s application.”
The recent round of the Empower Rural Iowa program was funded by Iowa’s Capital Projects Fund ( CPF). The goal of the program is to provide subsidies to providers to improve broadband infrastructure in Iowa’s Broadband Intervention Zones.
The program is designed to enhance access to high-speed internet in unserved areas of the State.
As per the report, the program has awarded some providers lower than the requested amount for many reasons. Some awards were reduced because of insufficient funding to serve all locations after it was offered to high-ranking providers.
At the same time, some other awards were reduced because some locations were overlapping with locations meant not to be served with broadband or with locations winning funding through a higher-ranking provider.
Mediacom, Iowa’s largest cable company, has undertaken multiple rural fibre projects in the state. With this latest funding, Mediacom will reportedly construct a fibre network covering 1,829 locations in Mahaska County.
With this setup, Mediacom Affordable Connectivity Program customers will also enjoy fast internet connectivity in rural areas.
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