Government

FCC invests $144 million to improve rural broadband access in Iowa

More than three-quarters of funds go to Texas-based provider

Workers with Slabach Construction of Kalona connect lengths of plastic conduit in June as they install fiber-optic cable
Workers with Slabach Construction of Kalona connect lengths of plastic conduit in June as they install fiber-optic cable for high-speed internet in Washington, Iowa. The federal government has awarded about $144 million to 11 rural broadband companies to improve internet access in Iowa. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

The Federal Communications Commission gave about $144 million to 11 rural broadband providers in Iowa as part of its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Auction.

The funds will go toward expanding broadband at a minimum speed of 100 megabits.

About $113 million of the investment is going to AMG Technology Investment Group. The Texas-based company operates as NextLink Internet.

Minnesota-based LTD Broadband and Arkansas-based Windstream were the only other providers to receive more than $5 million for Iowa broadband improvements.

“Access to high-speed internet access is an essential part of everyday life,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a news release. “The FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund builds on the efforts we have underway through my Empower Rural Iowa initiative as well as significant funds we have allocated through the CARES Act.”

In August, the state allocated $50 million in CARES Act funding to improve rural broadband access.

Comments: (319) 398-8394; john.steppe@thegazette.com

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