Des Moines, Iowa — December 12, 2016 — Today, Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds announced the Blue Ribbon Initiative, a public private effort to raise $2 million to expand community broadband planning throughout the state of Iowa. In partnership with Connect Iowa, and through the Connected℠ Community Engagement Program (Connected℠), the initiative will engage Iowa communities with the tools needed to enhance their technology standing in today’s digital economy.
According to recent FCC and U.S. Census data, access to advanced, fixed broadband service is available to about one-third of Iowa’s geography, coupled with a state broadband adoption rate of just 75%.
“I want to connect every acre of Iowa with robust, high-speed Internet service in all forms, because it will help our communities preserve what is best about our past and create new opportunities for our bright future,” said Governor Terry Branstad. “The communities that will thrive in this new economy are those that take every opportunity to organize and continually plan to improve their technological capabilities.”
“Governor Terry Branstad’s and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds’ collaborative vision for a connected Iowa is an advantage for all citizens of the state,” said Tom Ferree, Chairman and CEO of Connected Nation, Connect Iowa’s parent company. “To meet this next chapter, Connect Iowa will bring its best in the areas of broadband mapping, policy, and technical assistance to Iowa communities through our Connected Community Engagement Program.”
Connect Iowa is a program of Connected Nation, the national leader in community technology planning and data analysis. Connected Nation has compiled strategic technology plans for communities in the U.S. for more than 10 years. This work evolved into what is known as the Connected program, the country’s preeminent community technology assessment and planning tool. Connected has inspired more than 300 communities across 7 states with technology plans for enhanced success.