Iowa LinkedUp is Fighting for You
In the spring of 2011, "The Great Disconnect" effort was launched to provide education and unite supporters of telecommunications in Iowa to ensure that consumers have access to affordable and reliable services. Despite nationwide supporters of this effort voicing their concerns, the FCC is moving forward with changes that will affect the cost and accessibility of reliable broadband networks to rural consumers across the country.
In light of this, it's important for Iowans to stick together to ensure broadband service remains available for all of us. That's why "The Great Disconnect" has evolved to become an effort called "Iowa LinkedUp".
The goal of Iowa LinkedUp is to raise awareness about our telecommunications infrastructure and keep the public informed on connectivity issues that directly impact the state. It's led by the Independent Telecommunications Company Coalition comprised of Iowa Network Services (INS), Iowa Telecommunications Association (ITA), and Rural Iowa Independent Telephone Association (RIITA).
Most of the Independent Telecommunications Companies that make up Iowa LinkedUp are cooperatives or shareholder-owned by their own customers. These companies have invested heavily in network upgrades to keep up with advancements in communications technology. They stepped up to the plate when it was clear that larger companies didn't want to spend the extra capital required to provide robust broadband service in rural Iowa.
Recent rulings by the FCC are going to make it tougher for Independent Telecommunications Companies in rural Iowa to provide this level of broadband service. In particular, FCC reductions in revenue sources may curtail the ability of these companies to expand and maintain broadband networks. They may also be forced to increase costs for customers.
Iowa LinkedUp is fighting for you but needs your help to make progress. Stay informed on the issues, check out the Iowa LinkedUp blog, and join the conversation. Visit www.iowalinkedup.org for more information on how to get involved.