An effort to improve access to broadband Internet in rural Iowa failed in the Legislature this spring, but Gov. Terry Branstad is optimistic a revised proposal can succeed next year.
Branstad, who is running for re-election, has offered a rebooted version of his broadband proposal. It's dubbed "Connect Every Acre" and among the goals is to focus on farm land and provide incentives to get broadband infrastructure into areas with profitable agricultural operations.
Legislation seeking to expand Internet access in underserved parts of Iowa suffered a surprising defeat in the Republican-majority state House last session. The bill was designed to entice telecommunications companies to increase broadband service through income and property tax credits.
Some lawmakers thought the bill offered too many tax breaks to telecommunications companies without enough specific requirements.