High-Speed Internet Access to Expand Across Rural Areas of Pottawattamie County
Posted by: Public Relations
Pottawattamie County, Iowa – Pottawattamie County officials expressed excitement around new developments that will make high-speed internet available to roughly 99 percent of County residents by 2026.
The Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Program is an initiative from the Office of the Chief Information Office (OCIO), a state agency. The program is aimed at soliciting applications from communication service providers for broadband infrastructure projects that will reduce or eliminate underserved areas in the state. In recent years, the program awarded bids to Western Iowa Networks, Marne Elk Horn, and Western Iowa wireless, expanding broadband services in several parts of Pottawattamie County. New data shows those projects will ensure high-speed internet access to all but just over 100 addresses in the county.
“This is fantastic news to share for Pottawattamie County,” said David Bayer, Chief Information Officer for Pottawattamie County. “We’ve been very interested in finding ways to expand broadband services to our rural communities for quite some time. Originally, we thought we’d need to outline our next areas of focus for additional coverage through the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Program, but we’re now seeing most of our residents will have access following the project bids awarded in 2022, which is just awesome.”
According to data provided by OCIO, after pending projects are completed, Pottawattamie County will have over 34,000 addresses with access to high-speed internet service, with just 116 addresses that are considered underserved or unserved customers. Expected internet speeds of the service reach a minimum of 100 megabits per second for downloads and 20 megabits per second for uploads. Pending projects are scheduled to conclude by September 2026. Residents will likely receive notice from providers, detailing the updated services available for purchase, as projects are completed.
“We’ll continue to explore ways of getting broadband internet service to those last few residents in Pottawattamie County,” said Bayer. “We’re definitely headed in the right direction.”
To view a broadband services coverage map, visit iowa.maps.arcgis.com. For more information on the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Program, visit ocio.iowa.gov/broadband-grants.