Connect Iowa Joins Forces With Iowa Association of Regional Councils to Improve High-Speed Internet Access, Adoption, & Use Across the State Print
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Jessica Ditto   
Monday, 23 January 2012 13:18

Local Leaders Seek to Enlist Community Participation in Achieving Broadband Expansion

Des Moines, IA – Today, Connect Iowa and the Iowa Association of Regional Councils (IARC) announced a new partnership to launch a statewide “Connected” community engagement program aimed at increasing broadband access, adoption, and use. High-speed Internet is the key to attracting quality jobs, improving education, putting people in touch with government services, and building an all-around better quality of life. In collaboration with Connect Iowa, members of the Iowa Association of Regional Councils are taking charge of expanding broadband’s reach in their communities.

Last week, staff of regional Council of Governments (COGs) from all over the state took an intensive weeklong Connect Iowa training and began forming teams of local leaders who want to help create the plan for broadband expansion in their community. These leaders arrived back home this week with a critical new mission: revive their communities through broadband expansion.

“Getting all of Iowa connected to quality broadband is vital to the economic development of our state. Iowa's Councils of Governments, in conjunction with IARC, will be the driving force in getting the Connect Iowa initiative up and running in each of their regions,” says Iowa Association of Regional Councils Executive Director Nichole Warren. “They’ll be reaching out to their community leaders and asking them to join the local planning teams.”

Last week, Connect Iowa announced the formation of a new broadband advisory committee that will help guide and oversee this new initiative.

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with IARC to begin working in the local communities,” says Connect Iowa Program Manager Amy Kuhlers. “Change happens at the local level and by drawing in our relationships with the providers and local leaders and combining that with the intelligence we’ve gathered through our maps and research, we can identify solutions that best fit the community.”

Connected is a community-based initiative to accelerate broadband access, adoption, and use. The certification process benefits communities through a process of assessment, benchmarking, and planning by helping participants identify their community’s technological strengths and challenges and helping community partners match up with local opportunities.

“Connect Iowa’s Connected community program is an amazing opportunity for towns and regions across the state to assess their broadband needs and find real solutions,” says Kuhlers. “The aim is to put the tools in the hands of the community, help them do a detailed assessment of what the true local needs are, and then construct an informed plan to get the community connected in the most efficient way possible. It could be updating a school’s network or getting access to an unserved community, but the best part is that each plan will be custom-tailored to each region’s own specific needs and landscape.”

Anyone with an interest in bringing better broadband to local homes and businesses is encouraged to join in the community planning effort. For more information on how to get involved, please contact Kuhlers at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 515-421-2561.

Local COG leaders are listed below.

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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.

Follow Connect Iowa on Facebook and Twitter.

Agency/ COG

Contact

Address

Phone

Email

Counties

Area 15 Regional Planning Commission

Matt Bauman

P. O. Box 1110

Ottumwa, Iowa 52501

 

(641) 684-6551

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Davis, Keokuk, Jefferson, Mahaska, Van Buren, Wappello

 

Bi-State Regional Commission

Doug DeLille

1504 Third Avenue
P.O. Box 3368

Rock Island, Illinois 61204-3368

(309) 793-6300

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Muscatine, Scott

East Central Intergovernmental Association

 

Kelsey McElroy Anderson

7600 Commerce Park

Dubuque, Iowa 52002

(563) 556-4166

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Cedar, Clinton

Delaware, Dubuque

Jackson

East Central Iowa Council of Governments

Tracy DeKoter & Hilary Copeland

700 16th Street NE, Suite 301

Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402

 

(319) 365-9941

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Benton, Iowa, Johnson, Jones

Linn, Washington

Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments

Kyle Durant

229 E. Park Avenue

Waterloo, Iowa 50703

 

(319) 235-0311

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Black Hawk, Bremer

Buchanan, Butler

Chickasaw, Grundy

Metropolitan Area Planning Agency

Clint Sloss

2222 Cuming Street
Omaha, NE 68102

(402) 444-6866

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Mills, Pottawattamie

MIDAS Council of Governments

Carissa Miller

602 First Avenue South

Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501

(515) 576-7183

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Calhoun, Hamilton

Humboldt, Pocahontas, Webster

Wright, Boone

North Iowa Area Council of Governments

Dan Schroeder & Dana Heimbuch

525 Sixth St. S.W.

Mason City, Iowa 50401

 

(641) 423-0491

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Cerro Gordo, Floyd

Franklin, Hancock

Kossuth, Mitchell

Winnebago, Worth

Northwest Iowa Planning and Development Commission

 

Aaron Sedey

217 W. Fifth Street,
P. O. Box 1493

Spencer, Iowa 51301

 

(712) 262-7225

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Buena Vista, Clay

Dickinson, Emmet

Lyon, O’Brien

Osceola, Palo Alto

Sioux

 

Region 6 Planning Commission

 

Donna Sampson

 

903 E. Main Street

Marshalltown, Iowa 50158

 

 

(641) 752-0717


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Hardin, Marshall

Poweshiek, Tama

 

Region XII Council of Governments

Stacy Lentsch

1009 East Anthony Street
P.O. Box 768

Carroll, Iowa 51401

 

(712) 792-9914

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Audubon, Carroll

Crawford, Greene

Guthrie, Sac

Dallas

Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission

Justin Bushong

211 N. Gear Avenue, Suite 100
West Burlington, IA 52655

(319) 753- 5107

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Des Moines, Henry

Lee County, Louisa

Southern Iowa Council of Governments

Andrew Collings

101 East Montgomery Street

Creston, Iowa 50801-0102

 

(641) 782-8491

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Adair, Adams, Clarke

Decatur, Madison

Ringgold , Taylor

Union

Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan

Planning Council

Andrea Westergard

1122 Pierce Street
P.O. Box 1077

Sioux City, Iowa 51102

 

(712) 279-6286

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Cherokee, Ida

Plymouth, Woodbury

Southwest Iowa Planning Council

John McCurdy

1501 S.W. Seventh Street

Atlantic, Iowa 50022

(712) 243-4196

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Cass, Fremont

Harrison, Montgomery, Page

Shelby

Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission

Casey Mai

325 Washington St., Suite A

Decorah, Iowa 52101

 

(563) 382-6171

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Allamakee , Clayton

Fayette, Howard

Winneshiek

IARC

Nichole Warren

1123 Sandalwood Ct. SW

Altoona, IA 50009

(515)554-3210

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Polk, Jasper, Story, Warren, Marion, Lucas, Appanoose, Monroe & Wayne


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