CenturyLink Inc. announced today that it will bring high-speed Internet services to approximately 1.2 million rural households and businesses in 33 states, including Iowa. The company has accepted approximately $500 million a year for six years from the Federal Communications Commission's Connect America Fund. The funding will enable CenturyLink to bring Internet service with speeds of at least 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload to locations in FCC-designated, high-cost census blocks. For Iowa, CenturyLink has accepted $17.8 million annually for the next six years, or about $106.8 million, to bring high-speed Internet to approximately 34,000 Iowa homes and businesses, a spokeswoman said. Once CenturyLink's six-year build-out plan is finalized over the coming months, construction is expected to begin in early 2016.