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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

Utility Update: Market growth opportunities in Telecommunications

Locating in a rural area has many low-cost and safety benefits. But as the world evolves, our expectations on baseline utilities increases because of our economic market links. In Tama County growing rural business leaders with national clients communicate challenges that low quality technology hindering their ability to address updates and changes in real-time. Hazard mitigation leaders are concerned about security vulnerabilities due to lack of cell phone reception. Laid off workers in rural areas experience uncommon barriers in long distance continuing education  and connecting to workforce development resources. Overlooking rural technology needs is a costly barrier to economic development for both the rural and metro populations that depends on healthy rural economies.

Local businesses have brought solutions to the market to help bridge gaps in the under-served census tracts pictured above. Long term, fundamental solutions are also being worked on. About six months ago Iowa received a matching grant of approximately $2.2 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce’ to support a comprehensive broadband mapping and planning initiative for rural Iowa as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to partner with industry to fix the telecommunication gaps and stimulate the economy at the same time. (1)
1) Source: Connect Iowa


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