WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer (IA-01) on Wednesday announced a $5.4 million broadband investment that will expand high-speed internet in eastern Iowa.
The award from USDA Rural Development includes a $2.7 million grant and a $2.7 million loan for the North Liberty-based South Slope Cooperative Telephone Company as part of USDA’s ReConnect Program.
The project will extend fiber broadband service to 763 households over nearly 75 square miles, according to the USDA. The extension will connect 1,984 people, 147 farms and 26 businesses in Iowa and Johnson counties. South Slope serves customers in Benton, Iowa, Linn and Johnson counties, including the First District communities of Amana, Ely, Fairfax, Newhall, Norway, Watkins and Walford.
“Accessible high-speed internet is a major quality-of-life issue in rural Iowa, allowing families to access healthcare and education, making precision farming possible and connecting businesses and workers to customers and colleagues,” Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer said. “Investments like this into broadband infrastructure make our rural communities more vibrant, successful and inviting.”