The Iowa Communications Network (ICN) received a $16.2 million grant through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) that will enable Iowa Emergency Management to use advanced web-based emergency management applications and provide Iowa’s Department of Public Safety with reliable, high-speed connections to local law enforcement agencies and public safety access points. The grant is administered through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
ICN serves over 4,500 community institutions statewide. Of the 99 counties in the state, 17 are economically distressed and will be directly impacted by this project. ICN expects that approximately 100 jobs will be created initially through the project.
Many of the counties that will feel the biggest impact are rural and face economic and infrastructure challenges toward establishing and maintaining a reliable, widespread broadband access network. ICN hopes that this grant will be able to fortify and increase access, eventually leading to more access points for residents in these areas.
“As Iowa’s Homeland Security Advisor, this project is one I am particularly proud of and excited to see carried out because it will help law enforcement to respond to emergencies better and more quickly,” Lt. Governor Patty Judge said of the grant.