Broadband access gap in Iowa shrinking: Connect Iowa

New research unveiled today by Connect Iowa shows that the broadband availability gap in the state is shrinking, with 93.5% of Iowa residents now having access to fixed broadband of 3 Mbps download or higher, compared to 92.5% last year.

Nonprofit Connect Iowa has been working since 2009 to ensure that Iowans have access to the economic, educational, and quality of life benefits derived from increased broadband access, adoption, and use.

Among the findings of the new broadband availability research are:

  • 82.2% of Iowa households can access broadband at advertised speeds of 6 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload, meaning that nearly 218,000 households are in areas that may be eligible for Universal Service Fund broadband deployment subsidies
  • 80.5% of Iowa households can access broadband at speeds of at least 10 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload (excludes mobile and satellite services)
  • 96.1% of rural households in Iowa have access to broadband of at Least 768 Kbps download/200 Kbps upload (excludes mobile and satellite services)
  • 3.3% of Iowa households have access to broadband speeds of at least 100 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload. In October 2011, only 3.2% of households in Iowa had access to these broadband speeds (excludes mobile and satellite services)
  • Broadband of at least 768 Kbps download/200 Kbps upload is available to 97.7% of Iowa households, up from 97.6% last October, leaving 28,000 Iowa households unable to connect to basic high-speed Internet (excludes mobile and satellite services)
  • 87.2% of Iowa households have the ability to choose broadband service from two or more non-mobile broadband providers (excludes mobile and satellite services)
Note: The data in this report are subject to data validation.

“We are thrilled to see the investment being made by providers and that the work we are doing with our state partners is paying off,” said Connect Iowa State Program Manager Amy Kuhlers. “These latest access numbers show we are starting to bridge the broadband access gap and motivates us even more to focus on bringing broadband to the remaining 28,000 Iowans who remain unserved.”

Last month, Connect Iowa released an innovative new broadband mapping tool called My ConnectView TM offering unmatched views of Iowa’s technology landscape. Residents and businesses are encouraged to use the interactive map to find area providers and help validate the data. Residents are also encouraged to join their local  Connected technology team to help tailor the broadband expansion plan for their community.

Connect Iowa’s research was conducted as part of the State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant program, funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

The data was gathered in accordance with the requirements of the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) and subsequent clarifications set forth by NTIA.

The process begins by contacting all known providers in the state and providing information about the broadband mapping project. Information on broadband service areas is collected from each willing provider through voluntary participation.

A nondisclosure agreement (NDA) is offered to all providers prior to the submission of data; the data protected through the NDA is limited to highly sensitive network infrastructure information, including middle-mile locations.

Connected Nation strives to maintain a flexible mapping process in order to be able to collect data from providers in a variety of formats based on providers’ technical capabilities and resources.

About Connect Iowa: Connect Iowa is a subsidiary of Connected Nation and operates as a nonprofit in the state of Iowa to promote broadband access, adoption, and use. The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is leading the initiative to increase broadband Internet access throughout rural Iowa.Connect Iowa was commissioned by the state to work with all broadband providers in Iowa to create detailed maps of broadband coverage and develop a statewide plan for the deployment and adoption of broadband. For more information visit:

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