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[August 03, 2014]
Switch is flipped on broadband network in region [Jacksonville Journal-Courier, Ill. :: ]
(Jacksonville Journal-Courier (IL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Aug. 03--A $100 million, four-year project to connect west-central Illinois counties to a network of more than 1,000 new miles of high-speed broadband cables has now been completed.
Gov. Pat Quinn said the fiber-optic infrastructure runs through 55 counties, including Brown, Cass, Macoupin, Menard, Morgan, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler and Scott.
The project is expected to create access to broadband Internet service for about 4 million households and more than 285,000 businesses.
"High-speed Internet access is a proven economic driver throughout America and the world," Quinn said. "By investing in this unprecedented expansion of Illinois' broadband infrastructure, we are keeping Illinois' comeback going by laying the groundwork for jobs and economic growth for generations to come." A total of 1,800 miles of fiber-optic cable was funded through the project. This includes more than 1,000 miles of new installation and 750 miles of fiber that was either leased or activated with grant funds. The new network connects more than 400 anchor institutions, including 24 community colleges. Residential broadband service providers can leverage the fiber network to affordably extend their services into communities with little or no broadband service today.
The project was funded by a $62 million competitive award from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act matched by $24 million from the Illinois Jobs Now capital program and nearly $10 million in other state, local and private funding.
The $100 million high-speed network project was coordinated by the Illinois Broadband Opportunity Partnership, a statewide consortium of public and private sector partners organized by Quinn and led by Illinois State University and the Illinois Department of Central Management Services.
"We are excited to complete this construction to help bring broadband services to schools and communities across the state," management services acting director Simone McNeil said. "With Governor Quinn's leadership and our partnership with Illinois State University, our team's combined, statewide broadband efforts have helped to ensure the success of this critical project." ___ (c)2014 the Jacksonville Journal-Courier (Jacksonville, Ill.) Visit the Jacksonville Journal-Courier (Jacksonville, Ill.) at www.myjournalcourier.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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