Governor's High-Speed Internet Goal Is Likely Expensive

May 26, 2017

In her address after being sworn in Wednesday, Governor Kim Reynolds highlighted the importance of high-speed internet being available in all parts of the state, regardless of a community's size and location. 

"A connected community means better jobs, safer communities, better education and a better quality of life," said the governor. "And it really is the expectation of our young people." 

A significant amount of money is likely needed to make this goal a reality in rural parts of the state.

"You’re spreading those costs among so few subscribers, and that's what actually makes it a particular challenge in rural America because that wire does not get any less expensive," says Shirley Bloomfield, the head of NTCA, a national association of rural broadband providers. "That fiber optic does not get any less expensive. It’s just you’ve got a lot fewer people to spread it across."

According to a June 2015 estimate from the broadband advocacy non-profit Connect Iowa, less than 20 percent of Iowans have high-speed internet.