Better Broadband Better Lives

On Tuesday Morning, Illinois Broadband Advocates Gather for Better Broadband and Better Lives

in Broadband Data/Broadband Stimulus/Broadband's Impact/Expert Opinion/National Broadband Plan by

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, September 28, 2010 – Broadband high-speed internet services are stimulating the economy, creating jobs and enhancing lives in Illinois through enhanced telemedicine, training, and public safety benefits.

On Tuesday, dozens of federal broadband stimulus recipients will gather together in Springfield, Illinois, to celebrate and plan how more than $351 million in federal, state and private investment will be used to build infrastructure and frontline programs to eliminate the digital divide.

The historic assembly will be webcast live on broadbandillinois.org at 11 a.m. ET / 10 a.m. CT.

The program will also be streamed on the Illinois Channel, and the home page of the State of Illinois. The direct link to the stream is http://www.state.il.us/streaming/broadband-092810.asx (available at 9:50 a.m. CT).

The event brings together award winners from the southern tip to the northwest corner of the State; from senior centers in Moline to a series of “smart communities” in Chicago; from rural wireless service providers to a fiber-to-the-home build in Urbana-Champaign.

Among the individuals that will be speaking during the webcast include Warren Ribley, Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Lori Sorenson, Chief Operating Officer of the State’s Illinois Century Network; and Julie Hamos, Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

In addition to presentations by broadband stimulus awardees – awards that total $244 million in federal funds – the Office of Gov. Pat Quinn will announce new appointments to the Illinois Broadband Deployment Council.

Chartered in 2005, with then-Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn as Chair, the Illinois Broadband Deployment Council has played a key role in preparing Illinois to receive better broadband and to lead to opportunities for better lives for all of Illinois.

The existence of the Illinois Broadband Deployment Council enabled the State to develop an innovative concept, the Illinois Broadband Opportunity Partnerships (IBOP). This was successful in garnering $139 million in federal funds for large, regional-scale infrastructure projects, including IBOP – Northern; IBOP – East Central; and IBOP – Southern.

Among the individuals that will make presentations on Tuesday:

  • Illinois Century Network, recipient of $62 million ($96 million project) for IBOP – East Central
  • Northern Illinois University, recipient of $46 million ($69 million project) for IBOP – Northern
  • Clearwave, recipient of $32 million ($45 million project) for IBOP – Southern
  • University of Illinois’ UC2B fiber-to-the-home build, recipient of $23 million ($31 million project)
  • DeKalb County’s infrastructure build of $12 million ($15 million project)
  • City of Chicago, recipient of $7 million for “smart cities” and $9 million for public computing centers
  • Cellular One, recipient of $12 million
  • Norlight, recipient of $11 million
  • Convergence Technologies, recipient of $8 million
  • Shawnee Telephone, recipient of $8 million
  • MyWay Village, recipient of $4.7 million for a sustainable adoption project
  • One Economy Corp., recipient of a nationwide sustainable broadband project, including substantial funding for Illinois
  • The Partnership for a Connected Illinois, or broadbandIllinois.org, recipient of $4.7 million in Round 2 of the State Broadband Data and Development Act, in addition to $1.8 million in Round 1 funding.

The program on Tuesday was organized by broadbandillinois.org, or the Partnership for a Connected Illinois, the non-profit entity that is implementing a comprehensive, statewide high-speed internet deployment strategy and demand-creation initiative. Working together with the broadband awardees, State officials, and the Illinois Broadband Deployment Council, broadbandillinois.org will develop a statewide effort to ensure that Better Broadband leads to Better Lives.

Drew Clark is the Executive Director of the Partnership for a Connected Illinois, or broadbandillinois.org, which is the designated entity under the State Broadband Data and Development grant program based in Springfield, Illinois. Through convening stakeholders, the creation of local eTeams, and other activities, broadbandillinois.org has the mission to build a statewide effort to make the case that Better Broadband Leads to Better Lives. Additionally, Drew is the founder of BroadbandCensus.com and BroadbandBreakfast.com.

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