AcenTek was recently notified that they will be awarded a $12.1 million dollar grant from the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program. An estimated 2,350 locations in Harpers Ferry, Fort Atkinson, Ossian and Clermont will be receiving fiber optic services. Customers with fiber optic services enjoy faster internet speeds, more reliable services and experience no service limitations due to their remote location.
The total estimated cost of this fiber build project is approximately $24 million dollars. This grant will help with roughly half of that expense. The estimated start date of the project may be as soon as next year with a completion date of April 2025. Nearly 2,000 households and 390 businesses stand to benefit from this fiber build.
“In terms of dollars, customers, and impact to our cooperative, this grant is significantly larger than any other grant AcenTek has ever been awarded,” says Darren Moser, Chief Financial Officer, and grants coordinator for AcenTek. “We have been awarded grants in Michigan and Minnesota, but this is the first one in Iowa. We know this is a big win for us, but it is even bigger for our customers in Iowa. We look forward to partnering with the state of Iowa to bring the most robust communication facilities, fiber optics, to each of these residents, businesses and farms in our Iowa markets.”
Building fiber to customers in very rural locations is extremely costly. Grants are one tool that AcenTek uses to get fiber to the customer faster. The Empower Rural Iowa Grant Program was made possible after the state received the largest pot of money Iowa had ever seen for broadband infrastructure. Iowa governor, Kim Reynolds signed into law $100 million dollars in funding earlier this year and in July the grant process opened. AcenTek, along with many other providers across the state, wasted no time applying for those dollars to help them better serve their customers. Nearly 200 applications were received. Thirty-nine applications were awarded a grant.
Todd Roesler, CEO at AcenTek, explained how being awarded this grant falls in line with the company’s overall vision. “Our goal is to provide unparalleled connections and experiences to every customer in every community we serve. This grant will help us to deliver the gold standard of internet to our Iowa customers. Our customers deserve this. The sooner, the better.”
AcenTek provides Internet, Voice, Video and Business Services to select areas in Iowa, Minnesota and Michigan. Their headquarters are in Houston, MN, with technicians available in every community they serve.