Webster City, Iowa is officially a Connect Iowa certified Connected community. More than 30 Iowa communities are currently involved in some stage of the Connected program, but Webster City is only the second in the state to achieve the official Connected certification.
The occasion was marked with a standing-room only public event Tuesday at Fuller Hall Reception Center in Webster City. Mayor Janet Adams and City Manager and Connected Community Champion Ed Sadler were presented with the Connected trophy announcing the community’s official designation.
“Webster City is very proud to receive the Connected community certification,” said Adams. “We plan to continue to build on it by formulating committees to begin the implementation of the broadband action items identified in our assessment. We also plan to develop an internal city government plan to help keep broadband efforts moving forward.”
Webster City is the eighth community in the nation to earn the certification. Developed by Connected Nation, the Connected program entails building a comprehensive action plan for developing a technology-ready community by reviewing the technology landscape, developing regional partnerships, establishing local teams, and conducting a thorough community assessment. The broadband coverage of the area was measured using Connect Iowa’s broadband availability maps and survey research.
The Webster City Technology Action Plan unveiled at the event includes projects to promote technology adoption by local businesses, promote accessibility to broadband, and develop a redundant network of fiber optic and broadband services.
“Webster City is taking a major step forward in proclaiming its commitment to technology readiness and economic development,” said Connect Iowa State Program Manager Amy Kuhlers. “Being only the second Iowa community to earn this certification, we’re excited to see Webster City leading the way in advancing Iowa as a state that is embracing the present and future opportunities that high-speed Internet brings. Being a certified Connected community means Webster City is ready to support its current residents and businesses by making sure there is access to all the business, educational, health, government, and other countless benefits that quality broadband allows.”
Webster City’s Connected certification comes after a year of city staff and community stakeholders working with Connect Iowa to assess the broadband landscape, identify gaps, and establish actionable goals and objectives. The certification is an important benchmark as the team now phases into working its newly established long-term community broadband plan. Residents are also encouraged to get involved by joining their local Connected technology team. Residents and businesses are encouraged to visit the community technology profile on the website and help project leaders populate a directory of technology assets in the county.
The Connected program is part of the Connect Iowa initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce NTIA State Broadband Initiative program. Connect Iowa is working to facilitate the access, adoption, and use of technology throughout the state to create a better business environment, more effective community and economic development, improved healthcare, more efficient government, enhanced education, and improved quality of life.
Photo caption: Connect Iowa Program Manager Amy Kuhlers (middle right) present Connected certification to Mayor Janet Adams (middle left) Tuesday at Fuller Hall Reception Center in Webster City.
About Connect Iowa: Connect Iowa is a subsidiary of Connected Nation and operates as a nonprofit in the state of Iowa to promote broadband access, adoption, and use. The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is leading the initiative to increase broadband Internet access throughout rural Iowa. Connect Iowa was commissioned by the state to work with all broadband providers in Iowa to create detailed maps of broadband coverage and develop a statewide plan for the deployment and adoption of broadband. For more information visit: www.connectiowa.org. Follow Connect Iowa on Facebook and Twitter.