AMES, Iowa — Every year the Office of the Iowa Chief Information Officer releases a map of broadband availability across the state. However, this year they’re asking for the public’s feedback.
The CIO office usually gets data for the map from the Federal Commissions Office. Over the years, the CIO office said they’ve realized that this data isn’t always accurate. Deputy Officer Matt Behrens, said they’re hoping to hear from Iowans who’ve been consistently overlooked.
“Right now you can go to our website and locate your home address and fill out a form that tells us whether or not the providers who are at your location are actually there,” Behrens said. “We’re really hoping that the public will participate in this process by giving us feedback about where the map might have problems so that we can make it better in the future.”
Once the CIO collects information from providers and the public, they will use the finalized map for their broadband incentive programs to help underserved communities. Behrens said this year the state legislature has appropriated $5 million for broadband grants.
In August, WHO 13 spoke to an Ames father, Greg Artz, who was fighting to get broadband connection so his son could have internet access for school.
Artz said he’s given feedback to the CIO office about this map. Though he’s still having a hard time finding service, he’s happy to finally be getting answers.
“Even if we’re not getting to that next step, we’re closer to that next step by knowing more,” Artz said. “The new map, it really did eliminate quite a few players that said they were going to provide service that never intended to provide us service.”
The deadline for people to give feedback about the broadband availability map is this upcoming Monday, Sept. 21.