The Iowa Office of Chief Communications Officer (OCIO) has announced a new round of grant opportunities that would offset up to 80% of the cost to build broadband to unserved and underserved Iowans. This latest round of the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program makes up to $148,960,000 available to qualifying providers.
Notice of Funding Availability #008 (NOFA 8) utilizes information gathered this spring when communities identified areas in greatest need of better broadband. The OCIO used that information to create 96 "Broadband Intervention Zones" in Iowa and ranked each one according to a scoring matrix.
NOFA 8 represents higher levels of funding support than any of the previous grant opportunities. Applications that cover at least 80% of one of the top 20 ranked broadband intervention zones would receive up to 80% of their costs reimbursed. Lower grant amounts are available for lower ranked zones.
Although NOFA 8 has been announced, the application window does not open until July 14, 2023. The grant timeline is shown below.
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