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Blog // Connect Iowa

Changing the Face of Public Safety and Emergency Communications in Iowa

By Jessica Denson

The Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board (ISICSB) FirstNet Metro Outreach for Iowa Homeland Security Region 1 meeting was held March 22 in Des Moines, Iowa. The goal was to provide an update on FirstNet and the Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communication System (ISICS).  ISICS goal is to provide interoperable communications across Iowa to public safety agencies. ISICS is a 700 MHz P25 TDMA radio system. Once complete, it’s expected to deliver 95% coverage, improving emergency communications for Iowa’s first responders.  Funded through a state legislative appropriation, buildout of the communication system is set...

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FCC Releases Broadband and Health Interactive Mapping Tool

By Amanda Murphy

The Federal Communications Commission’s Connect2Health Task Force has launched a broadband and health interactive map. The new tool, titled Mapping Broadband Health in America, allows users to analyze broadband and health data visually, and at a national, state, and county level. The map is intended for use by both public and private sectors, and local communities, as a tool to drive discussion, to identify opportunities and gaps in connectivity and health care, and to assist broadband health policies and digital health solutions. Users have the ability to generate customized maps that display broadband access, adoption, and speeds along...

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Broadband Helps Local Farmers

By Chris McGovern

It’s June, and that means the start of summer. Around here, that equals the end of classes, evenings on the lake, and the return of the summer farmers market.  Even though the county’s open air market feels like it’s a thousand miles from technology, local farmers are still benefiting from the ability to use broadband to grow, advertise, and sell their wares. The entire agricultural sector benefits from the access and usage of broadband service. In May, a Hudson Institute report noted that rural broadband services supported over $100 billion in e-commerce and nearly 70,000 jobs in 2015.  While that figure includes e-commerce from a...

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USDA Accepting Applications for $11M in Grants To Further Broadband to Rural Communities

By Amanda Murphy

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications for grants through its Community Connect program. This program helps fund broadband access in unserved communities and is administered by USDA’s Rural Utilities Service. More than $11 million in grants will be awarded for broadband infrastructure, as well as broadband for community centers and public institutions. For 2016, the minimum grant amount will be $100,000, and the maximum is $3 million. For more information on the application process for the grants, see the April 18, 2016 Federal Register. Read the news release distributed by the USDA on April 18, 2016.

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