Gov. Terry Branstad has announced a"Connect Every Iowan" initiative to increase the access and use of broadband in the state.

The existing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Advisory Council will develop legislative recommendations that will encourage broadband access in the state. The committee will have its first meeting Sept. 10, and its recommendations are expected by Dec. 1.

The committee also is charged with developing a long-term strategic plan for broadband adoption by Jan. 1, 2015. Iowa ranks 11th out of 12 Midwestern states in the TechNet State Broadband Index, which takes into account the household adoption rate of broadband, network speeds and the amount of jobs that benefit from broadband technology.