Connect Iowa Applauds Branstad’s Effort to ‘Connect Every Iowan’

Promoting Broadband Cited as Priority in Condition of State Address

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Des Moines, IA (PRWEB) January 14, 2014

Connect Iowa applauds Gov. Branstad’s call in today’s Condition of the State address to promote greater broadband access, adoption, and use across the state and to fast-track Iowa’s goal of becoming the most connected state in the Midwest.

Connect Iowa research has shown that expanding broadband is a vital component of economic development, promoting education, and improving quality of life for Iowans. Gov. Branstad launched the Connect Every Iowan initiative last September to address the issue of the digital divide, and Connect Iowa is proud to be part of that effort through the STEM Advisory Council Broadband Committee.

Last month, the Committee announced the completion of their initial assessment and delivered broadband policy recommendations to the Governor’s Office for consideration. Connect Iowa has provided broadband insights from its work in communities and data from its surveys and maps to support the assessment of the current levels of broadband access, adoption, and use across the state.

The report cites Connect Iowa’s latest broadband availability assessment to stress the importance of meaningful broadband legislation in the next session: “Broadband availability data from Connect Iowa indicates that, while over 98% of Iowa households can access broadband at its most basic speed (768 Kbps download/200 Kbps upload), statewide availability begins to sharply decrease at 6 Mpbs download/1.5 Mbps upload (with only 82% of Iowans able to access broadband at these speeds). And only 47% of Iowans can access broadband at speeds of 50 Mbps or greater.”

The committee also recognizes the demand-side realities of broadband adoption barriers in the state. Connect Iowa’s residential technology assessment indicates the sizable gap in adoption in comparison to current availability: “Connect Iowa’s residential adoption survey research tells us that only 71% of Iowa households have adopted broadband, indicating a real and significant digital divide in Iowa, which is more pronounced among at-risk demographic groups like low-income households (adoption rate = 46%), rural households (adoption rate = 66%), or African-American households (adoption rate = 56%).”

Connect Iowa stands ready and able to work with the Governor’s Office and state legislators on this crucial effort to connect all Iowans and bring the empowering technology of broadband to all corners of the state.

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To get more information on the broadband access, adoption, and use in Iowa go to Connect Iowa’s website. In November 2013, Connect Iowa published new broadband availability data about current access levels and speeds. That analysis can be accessed on the planning page or by exploring the maps.

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: http://www.connectiowa.org.

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