Iowa continues to lag behind in high-speed internet

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High-speed internet is one of the few issues to garner bipartisan support, which is good news for Iowa, but also highlights the state’s struggles in this area.

Iowa has the second slowest internet speed in the country, behind Alaska. Hawkeye State also ranks 45th among the best connected states.

Despite fairly uniform broadband coverage across the state, the average download speed in Iowa is 78.9 megabytes per second (Mbps), according to High speed now, a data company that studies broadband in America. Typically, 100 Mbps is considered fast internet access because it can support more activity at a time, so households with multiple people on devices would not have interrupted service, as long as no one does nothing demanding.

The report notes that some small towns don’t even have access to download speeds of 25 Mbps.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires broadband Internet to have a minimum download speed of 25 Mbps. Anything less than this is not considered broadband, which is basically defined as an Internet connection capable of transmitting a high bandwidth of data.

The prices are also taken into account in the quality of the Internet. Monthly Internet prices in Iowa are generally higher than in other states. Nationally, an average of 51.5% of people have access to plans costing $ 60 or less per month. In Iowa, that average is 18.5%.

There are several federal and state initiatives to improve broadband access. The broadband expansion is among two infrastructure bills debated in Congress and was included in the US bailout, which was passed in March.

Iowa has received federal grants for broadband development projects through the US Department of Commerce and the Connected Nation Iowa program.

Governor Kim Reynolds signed a law in April, which created a system of grants that allowed service providers to complete a variety of projects to improve everything from download speeds to improving service in underserved areas as part of the Empower Rural Iowa program.

The beneficiaries of these grants were announced in september and the state plans to have another round of grants, using the money

by Nikoel Hytrek
05/10/21


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