A new Iowa committee co-chaired by state Chief Information Officer Robert von Wolffradt is tasked with developing a plan to increase broadband technology deployment throughout the state.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced on Tuesday a new “Connect Every Iowan” initiative aimed at increasing the access, adoption and use of broadband technology.
The state’s existing STEM Advisory Council’s Broadband Committee is tasked with developing legislative recommendations to encourage broadband build-out throughout the state, especially in unserved or underserved areas.
The committee will first meet Sept. 10 and submit recommendations by Dec. 1. The committee is also tasked with developing a long-term strategic plan for broadband by January 1, 2015, and to identify and pursue any possible federal funding opportunities or public private partnerships.
“We want to make Iowa the most connected state in the Midwest,” Branstad said.
He continued, “I’m confident Iowans all across the state will benefit from the initiative – most importantly, more broadband access means more jobs for Iowans,” said Branstad.
Currently Iowa ranks eleventh out of 12 Midwestern states on the TechNet State Broadband Index, behind neighboring states such as Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri and Illinois.
The index is compiled from three measures: The household adoption rate of broadband, network speeds of available broadband infrastructure and amount of jobs in information and communication technology industries that benefit from broadband technology.