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Grant will help KCTC expand in rural areas

Geoff Hyson, KCTC IT administrator, monitors equipment that powers KCTC’s advanced fiber-optic network within Washington County. (Submitted photo)
Geoff Hyson, KCTC IT administrator, monitors equipment that powers KCTC’s advanced fiber-optic network within Washington County. (Submitted photo)

WASHINGTON — Kalona Cooperative Technology Company was awarded more than $1.9 million to cover the costs of providing fiber optics broadband to Washington County.

The grant covers about a third of the cost and will provide more than 300 households fiber in the next five years.

KCTC General Manager Casey Peck said the households are between Kalona and Washington, east of Highway 1 and north of County Road G92.

“Customers in this area have been struggling to work from home, learn from home and do business from home with internet speeds that are simply inadequate for current demands, with no hope of seeing any improvement in the situation,” Peck said.

She said the need for bandwidth continues to increase as remote meetings, streaming and telehealth become a part of everyday life.

This grant is provided by Iowa as part of Gov. Kin Reynolds Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program, which recently awarded nearly $5 million to expand broadband service across the state.

“We are excited to be able to serve new customers with the same advanced service that we have been providing to the Kalona area for over 115 years,” Peck said.