Western Iowa Networks (WIN) has recently announced the addition of fiber optics services to be made in Mills County and an area of the Loess Hills. The previously announced Glenwood CARES area project has been made possible through the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program and the U.S. Department of Treasury’s CAREs Act. The identified goal in this private/public partnership is to bring reliable broadband to areas deemed unserved or underserved. The Glenwood project will provide about 40 miles of fiber optics to the north and east sides of the community. Construction will also include Mineola and Silver City, impacting nearly 500 addresses. Construction is set to get underway this summer with installs coming later this year and into early 2022. Another grant from the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program through the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) will bring an estimated 350 homes and businesses in an area identified within the Loess Hills fiber optic services. Construction on that network is slated to begin late this year or early next with installs starting before the end of 2022. “WIN would like to bring reliable broadband service to as many people as we possibly can, especially in areas where they have little to no options,” says WIN CEO Jeff Roiland. “Since the COVID pandemic hit, there are more people than ever before trying to rely on slow internet speeds to earn a paycheck or a degree. Many are also relying on that same internet connection for entertainment, such as streaming or gaming. We hear about the struggles folks are having with this every day.” Roiland adds they will continue to be aggressive in seeking out funding that helps alleviate these issues in our rural areas.