Iowa OCIO will distribute up to $200 million in federally-sourced funds through the next round of the Iowa Broadband Grant Program.
After announcing $97.5 million in awards to 39 recipients just weeks ago, the Iowa Office of Chief Information Officer (OCIO) this week says another $200 million is coming in the next round of funding, NOFA007.
Unlike NOFA006, which used money allocated by the Iowa Legislature from the state's budget, NOFA007 funds are flowing from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed by Congress earlier this year and signed by President Biden. Under ARPA, states, counties, and municipalities were given allocations based on population. One approved use for these funds was broadband infrastructure. Governor Kim Reynolds directed that a total of $200 million from the state's allocation go into the new NOFA announced this week.
The timeline for NOFA007 is shown below:
From an initial review of the program rules, it appears that the funding will be targeted exclusively to areas without 25x3 access. That's the same criteria as "Tier 1" areas on version 4 of the Iowa Broadband Availability Map. The reason for targeting these areas is simple - that's what the ARPA legislation allows for. The OCIO is currently revising the Iowa map to include a new layer showing areas that will be eligible for NOFA007. It is expected that the new map will remove the areas where funding was just awarded under NOFA006.
Two great events coming next week...there's still time to register and participate in the disucssion. We'll see you there!
Two new provider members joined the CBAN family this week!
Mahaska Communications Group (MCG) is based in Oskaloosa, Iowa and provides fiber-to-the-home in Oskaloosa. MCG is a subsidiary of Musco Lighting, also headquartered in Oskaloosa. In addition to its hometown, Oskaloosa has expanded its footprint to provide services in Montezuma and Lake Ponderosa, New Sharon, Sigourney, and several rural areas. MCG is currently building its network out in Grinnell and has announced plans to serve Ottumwa and Newton in the next several years.
Casey Mutual Telephone is based in Casey, Iowa but has been steadily growing its footprint to bring fiber to underserved rural areas and communities in west central Iowa. Casey Mutual has several fiber projects underway, including in Adair, and was the recipient of $2.6 million from NOFA006 of the Iowa Broadband Grant program for rural fiber builds in Adair, Audubon, Cass, and Guthrie County.
CBAN salutes community-focused providers like MCG and Casey Mutual for bringing better broadband to more Americans. If our nation's broadband gaps are to be filled and close the digital divide, it's companies like theirs that will do the job.
If you are part of a forward-looking community-focused broadband provider (independent telecommunications company, municipal utility, or cooperative), we'd love to have you as part of the CBAN family, which now has over 110 members. Provider Membership is FREE...visit our membership web page to find out more.
Mediacom was a successful bidder for CBRS radio spectrum in states across its cable system footprint. Some details are starting to emerge about what they plan to do with that spectrum.
As reported in Light Reading, Mediacom has six towners activated in six states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota), utilizing fixed wireless products from Casa Systems and Ericsson.
Mediacom Bolt is the brand name for this new fixed wireless product. As shown on their website, the company is marketing three tiers of service (25x3, 50x5, and 100x10 or 20 depending on location). The company is accepting pre-registrations now, but is not revealing exactly where and when its service will be available.
The CBAN family continues to grow! This week we're welcoming two new members, bringing our total membership to 110.
The City of Camanche, Iowa is our newest Community Member. Nestled along the banks of the Mississippi River in eastern Iowa just downstream from Clinton, Camanche (pop. 4,500) was the first county seat of Clinton County before it was moved first to DeWitt and later to Clinton. Community leaders in Camanche are beginning efforts to explore a municipal broadband utility and say they hope their CBAN membership will allow them to connect with other communities looking for better broadband solutions.
Our newest Provider Member is Mahaska Communications Group, or MCG. MCG is a division of Musco Lighting based in Oskaloosa. MCG came about when Musco leadership became frustrated by broadband services available in their home town. So, they created MCG and built fiber-to-the-home throughout the community. MCG has since expended their fiber footprint to several other areas, most recently in Newton. They are also planning to build fiber in Ottumwa, Iowa after being selected by a local broadband committee through an RFP process.
All of at CBAN are excited to have Camanche and MCG join us!
Broadband Bytes News
Presented by the Community Broadband Action Network and curated by Curtis Dean.