FILE - Rural broadband

Earth digger used to help lay cables for rural broadband connection.

(The Center Square) – The Iowa Office of the Chief Information Officer previously announced it would render its decisions Sept. 3 on its intentions to award broadband grant funds through its Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program.

As of press time on Sept. 14, the office has not yet posted its decisions on its website.

The Center Square reached out to Public Information Officer/Legislative Liaison Gloria Van Rees Sept. 3 and received notice that Van Rees is on maternity leave and that media should contact Cayanna Reinier via email. The Center Square attempted to reach Reinier twice via email, left voicemails for the OCIO office, and continues to wait for a response with details on the awards.

Iowa Communications Alliance CEO Dave Duncan told The Center Square in an emailed statement Sept. 13 that he hasn’t heard from the office either.

“We have dozens of member companies eagerly awaiting the award announcement that we all thought would come out over a week ago,” Duncan said.

The office says on its website that grant agreement negotiations and execution will be made Sept. 17.

During the July 1 to July 28 application period, the Office of the Chief Information Officer received 178 applications from providers, which requested over $292 million in grant funding, nearly triple the $100 million legislators set aside through HF848 this year.

The largest request, according to the office’s postings, is from Windstream Services, LLC, for $21,966,763.82.