Microsoft Corp. and Nextlink Internet are partnering to expand the Microsoft Airband Initiative, the Microsoft program dedicated to closing the broadband internet accessibility gap by investing in rural internet access infrastructure.  Microsoft’s partnership with Nextlink will expand Nextlink’s existing deployments in Texas and Oklahoma, and begin new deployments in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas and Nebraska.  “It’s […]

Iowans launch network to connect providers, communities seeking better service Recall the last year your home had dial-up internet service, the once great, shining beacon of communication in America.  As you nudged your modem awake, a sound that an Economist writer once described in 2007 as “the distorted screams of two modems introducing themselves” disturbed […]

Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of ice cream giant Ben & Jerry’s, gives the opening keynote at the 2019 EntreFEST conference/festival in Cedar Rapids. Photo contributed/Andrew Ravera, NewBoCo The perception of competition is a funny thing. It can bring out the great innovations in companies, the leaps in service or quality or product — or, as Jerry […]

Iowa applicants applying for the USDA “ReConnect” Grant Program will have an advantage applying for the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced this week. The program, announced in December 2018, makes about $600 million in grants and loans available for broadband providers in rural areas that do not have sufficient access to […]

Whoops. Federal Communications Commission chief Ajit Pai admitted that broadband growth numbers announced by the FCC in February were actually inflated by millions, reports Ars Technica. The errors were first published by advocacy group Free Press, which found a new ISP called BarrierFree falsely reported to the FCC that it went from serving zero customers to 20% […]

CenturyLink has announced the completion of new broadband to about 21,000 rural Iowa homes and businesses, reports the Cedar Rapids Gazette. The company announced last week the expanded broadband services, which reach more than 30 Iowa communities, including Muscatine, Winterset, Independence and Indianola. The expanded broadband was funded through the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America […]

Gubernatorial staff members gathered in Des Moines this week seeking best practices from across the U.S. to build good jobs in their own states, during the National Governors Association’s third Good Jobs for All Americans workshop in the Renaissance Savery Hotel.  The two-day workshop was led by Govs. Kim Reynolds, Larry Hogan of Maryland and […]

Rural hospitals using telemedicine to back up emergency health care providers not only save money, but might find it easier to to recruit new physicians down the road, reports the University of Iowa. Rural hospitals that switched to tele-ER emergency provider models saved an average of $117,000 annually in health care provider costs, the study reported. […]