Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds advocated for an additional $20 million in state funding for improving broadband in rural areas during her "Condition of the State" address on January 15, 2019.
Last year the Iowa Legislature appropriated $1.3 million to provide grants for rural broadband improvements. Reynolds would like to legislature to commit an additional $20 million for the upcoming fiscal year.
"It’s no secret, we need to keep our rural communities connected if we hope to keep our young people or attract others to Iowa. Over a century ago, a town’s proximity to the railroad was key; over the last 100 years, our focus has been on highways and interstates. And, by the way, it’s that focus that finally gave us a completed four-lane Highway 20.
While the Iowa Legislature has not taken action on Reynolds' request, there seems to be general consensus that the State of Iowa should invest more financial resources into improving broadband in areas where it is inadequate. A huge challenge remains - how to determine WHERE those investments should be made.
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