Iowa Governor Signs Law Creating Broadband Grant Program
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law Wednesday aimed at expanding high-speed internet access across the state.
The new law establishes matching grants for companies that expand broadband infrastructure in underserved areas.
Most of the grants will go toward developing internet access with download and upload speeds of at least 100 megabits per second. The rest will allow for lower upload speeds in some areas.
This was one of Reynolds’ top priorities for this legislative session.
“In the 21st century when access to high-speed internet is growing increasingly necessary for everyday life—from work to entertainment to health care—we needed to act,” Reynolds said. “And I’m proud to tell Iowans we did just that.”
Reynolds signed the bill surrounded by Republican and Democratic state lawmakers. She said she’s proud that the bill passed unanimously in the Senate and House of Representatives.
At the beginning of the legislative session in January, Reynolds asked the legislature to allocate $150 million in each of the next three years to fund the broadband grants.
As of Wednesday afternoon, both the House and Senate had voted to approve $100 million for broadband grants in the next fiscal year.
Reynolds said she’s “thrilled with” that amount.
“One hundred million dollars in infrastructure is a great start that will allow us to leverage millions in private sector funding,” Reynolds said.
She said she believes some federal funding can also be used to bring the total investment up to $150 million.