|Central Iowa Hospital Corporation, d/b/a Iowa Health-Des Moines||$8,321,815||Sustainable Adoption|
|Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc.||$14,988,657||Sustainable Adoption|
|Connected Nation (Iowa)||$5,769,942||Broadband Data & Development|
|Iowa Communications Network||$16,230,118||Infrastructure|
|Iowa Health System||$17,714,919||Infrastructure|
|University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development||$62,540,162||Infrastructure|
The Central Iowa Hospital Corporation proposes to bring broadband capabilities to medical facilities across rural and underserved parts of Iowa. In a state with hundreds of thousands of underinsured residents residing in medically underserved locations, this project aims to improve health care and delivery, provide education and training for rural health practitioners, facilitate tele-health, support disaster readiness, and promote health education and awareness for residents. The awardee plans to partner with over 100 community serving institutions including 56 healthcare clinics and providers and 21 EMS units, seven city governments, and over 30 educational institutions by deploying equipment, broadband connectivity, training, and support to these critical community facilities. The project also plans to link correctional facilities with tele-health providers to create savings to taxpayers by significantly mitigating costs associated with transporting inmates.
The effort also expects to stimulate job creation within the rural health sector while improving health outcomes in medically underserved communities and delivering training and education to the rural healthcare workforce.
Broadband’s ability to expand educational and employment opportunities is especially meaningful for Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing, a community that faces unique challenges in education and that suffers from a rate of unemployment much higher than the national average. Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD) intends to expand broadband adoption among people who are deaf and hard of hearing and provide them with online tools to more fully participate in the digital economy. The project proposes to employ a combination of discounted broadband service and specialized computers, technology training from an online state-of-the art support center customized to the community’s needs, public access to videophones at anchor institutions from coast to coast, and a nationwide outreach initiative. Thousands will gain online access to all the Internet has to offer, including sign language interpreters, captioned video services, and other content and functionalities designed especially to advance their educational, employment, and healthcare interests.
State Broadband Capacity Building:
Under the direction of the state, this project will provide staff support to the Iowa Broadband Deployment Governance Board and provide oversight of planning teams, field validation, research, and crowd sourcing activities. The Board currently exists, but has no staff to support its work.
This funding will support a county-level survey in the second year of the project and a state-level survey in the fourth year. Connected Nation has already received funding through the initial SBDD award to support state surveys in the third and fifth years of the project. With this funding, Connect Nation will have the ability to track broadband adoption rates, and the causes for non-adoption, over five years.
Local Regional Technology Planning Teams:
This project will provide training to and support the coordination of 14 regional planning teams across Iowa. The teams will benchmark technology use across relevant community sectors; set goals for improved technology use within each sector; and develop a plan for achieving its goals, with specific recommendations for web-based application development and demand creation. The teams will attend the annual Iowa Broadband Summit to share best practices across localities and community sectors.
Data Collection, Integration, and Validation:
This project was originally funded for broadband planning activities and two years of data collection. In September of 2010, this project was amended to extend data collection activities for an additional three years and to identify and implement best practices.
The economic and geographic challenges of serving a predominantly rural state like Iowa can result in limited high-speed Internet service outside of the state’s major metropolitan areas. The Iowa Communications Network (ICN) plans to utilize its partnerships with key anchor institutions and other service providers to address this problem and bring enhanced broadband capabilities to all 99 of the state’s counties. ICN’s Bridging the Digital Divide for Iowa’s Communities project proposes to upgrade its existing 3,000-mile network to provide 10 Gbps-capable points of presence in each county, while enabling a system upgrade for as many as 1,000 community anchor institutions statewide to 1 Gbps Ethernet service. Community anchors served by this project will include over 50 libraries, 800 educational institutions, and 1,000 government facilities. ICN’s partnership with non-profit Iowa Health System will allow for a comprehensive statewide fiber network that serves public sector, private sector, and non-profit entities.
Rural healthcare facilities in Iowa such as hospitals, physicians’ offices, and research labs often suffer from limited or no access to broadband services adequate to meet their specialized needs. Iowa Health System’s (IHS) Iowa Healthcare Plus Broadband Extension Project proposes to make significant upgrades to the health system’s existing 3,200-mile fiber network that serves over 200 healthcare facilities across the state and bolster their wireline capabilities with wireless technology. The open architecture of IHS’s newly upgraded network will also enable local Internet service providers to provide improved high speed Internet access to as many as 650,000 households, 134,000 businesses, and an additional 1,800 community anchor institutions. IHS’s partnership with non-profit Iowa Communications Network, another BTOP grant recipient, will allow for a comprehensive statewide fiber network that serves public sector, private sector, and nonprofit entities.
As part of a longstanding project to connect essential community anchor institutions across the country, and facilitate closer collaboration and long-term benefits for education, research, healthcare, public safety, and government services, the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID) proposes a comprehensive 50-state network benefitting approximately 121,000 community anchors. The project proposes a large-scale, public-private partnership to interconnect more than 30 existing research and education networks, creating a dedicated 100-200 Gbps nationwide fiber backbone with 3.2 terabits per second (TBps) total capacity that would enable advanced networking features such as IPv6 and video multicasting. The project plans to connect community anchors across all disciplines into virtual communities with shared goals and objectives, including colleges, universities, libraries, major veterans and other health care facilities, and public safety entities, with additional benefits to tribes, vulnerable populations, and government entities.