Iowa Becomes a One Gig State

Jan 18, 2017

Internet download speeds for more than a million households may soon become much faster. The communications company Mediacom is making Iowa its first gigabit state. 

The Mediacom nerve center in northeast Des Moines.
Credit Rob Dillard, Iowa Public Radio

The company's founder and CEO Rocco Commisso came to Des Moines to flip the switch to enhance its broadband capabilities. He was joined at the Mediacom nerve center in an industrial area of the city's northeast side by Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds. Download speeds will become much faster to customers in more than 300 Iowa cities and towns. Mediacom’s Chief Technical Officer, JR Walden, says not every household will need all of the capability.

“I always have this conversation with senior management, sort of like, what are we going to do on the Internet tomorrow," he says. "I don’t know, but there’s a teenager in a basement in Iceland who is inventing the next cool thing and it’s going to change our lives.”

Walden says a gigabit of broadband availability will pave the way for the future.

“People are doing more on the Internet than they ever before," he says. "Whether they’re going fast or not, the things they do, the variety of things, how many devices they have connected, how many people in the home use the Internet has been growing substantially.”