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Connect Iowa Releases Comprehensive Report Highlighting Broadband Progress and Needs in the State

View Connect Iowa Final Grant Report

DES MOINES, Iowa, June 4, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Since October 2010, access in Iowa to broadband service at speeds of at least 50 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload has increased 54.08 percentage points. These findings along with others were released in the Connect Iowa Final Grant Report highlighting its mapping, community planning, and research since 2010 as part of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's State Broadband Initiative grant program.

Over the course of its five-year grant period, Connect Iowa engaged 202 broadband providers in Iowa to collect data semi-annually on broadband access in the state, with 99.5% of all broadband providers in the state participating, to provide over 3.5 million data records. In addition, Connect Iowa independently validated the broadband access data for 93.07% of participating providers, and analyzed 7,441 speed tests taken by Iowans since 2010.

Since 2010, Connect Iowa has measured a five percentage point growth in residential broadband adoption and a nine percentage point growth in use of broadband by Iowa businesses. During that time, 65 Iowa communities have had some level of involvement with the program's local community broadband planning process, the Connected Community Engagement Program.

While the progress made in Iowa has been positive, 29% of residents and 19% of businesses in Iowa are still on the wrong side of the digital divide. Far too many rural homes and communities lack access to faster broadband speeds increasingly needed for everyday online activities, with 324,607 households in Iowa unable to subscribe to broadband at the national benchmark speed of 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload. Connect Iowa's work is far from complete.

"Connect Iowa is proud of its work across the state to better understand broadband access, adoption, and use," said Dave Daack, community technology advisor for Connect Iowa. "I have personally had the opportunity to travel across the state and work with communities dedicated to improving their broadband technology planning, including 18 certified Connected communities."

The release of the Connect Iowa Final Grant Report comes ahead of a FirstNet Milestone Event on June 10 where Governor Terry Branstad, Connect Iowa, the Department of Public Safety, and the Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board will recognize the outstanding FirstNet efforts of Iowa including training completed in all 99 Iowa counties. The event will take place at 12:30 p.m. at the Rotunda, State Capitol Building in Des Moines.

For more information about the report or the Connect Iowa program, please contact Connect Iowa at info@connectiowa.org.

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: www.connectiowa.org.

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About Connected: Connected Nation developed the Connected Community Engagement Program to help guide a community through an assessment of its overall broadband and technology status. Connected certified communities have measurably demonstrated their proficiency for effective access, adoption, and use of broadband-supported technologies. Connected Nation, through its partners, provides a national platform for recognizing those communities that excel across these important benchmarks. http://connectmycommunity.org.

CONTACT: Sarah Synovec ssynovec@connectednation.org 515-421-3326Source: Connected Nation