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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.

Commerce Department Announces 10 Broadband Investments Worth $63 Million

in Broadband Data/Broadband Stimulus/Broadband Updates/Broadband's Impact/National Broadband Plan/States by

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2010 – The Commerce Department on Thursday announced 10 investments in broadband growth across the nation that total approximately $63 million.

The following grants were announced yesterday:

Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah – Navajo Tribal Utility Authority: $32.2 million broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $13.8 million applicant-provided match to bring high-speed affordable broadband services to the Navajo Nation by deploying 550 miles of new aerial fiber-optic cable and 59 new or modified microwave towers covering 15,000 square miles in three states. The proposed service area has rugged terrain and significant poverty, and more than 60 percent of residents lack basic telephone service. The project expects to directly connect 49 Chapter Houses, which serve as community centers for the Navajo population, at speeds from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps. Last-mile wireless services will be offered at speeds between 1 and 3 Mbps through the project’s wireless partner, Commnet Wireless.

Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Texas – Mission Economic Development Agency: $3.7 million public computer center grant with an additional $2.5 million applicant-provided match to create 12 new public computer centers and expand five existing ones in Phoenix, Ariz.; Canoga Park, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, Calif.; Del Norte, Colo.; Blackfoot, Idaho; Wheaton, Md.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Kansas City, Mo.; Anthony, NM; Philadelphia, Pa.; and San Antonio and Laredo, Texas. Each center expects to operate on the project’s centrally managed network and provide computer training and adult education to a low broadband adoption, high unemployment target population through a standardized English-Spanish training curriculum.

Idaho – First Step Internet: $2.4 million broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $600,000 applicant-provided match to build a regional network of 10 microwave towers to extend high-capacity Internet service in the rural counties of Latah, Idaho, Clearwater, Lewis, and Nez Perce in north-central Idaho. The project intends to directly connect 42 anchor institutions, including healthcare facilities, emergency response agencies, libraries, and government offices, as well as institutions serving the Nez Perce Tribe.

Illinois – City of Chicago: $7 million sustainable broadband adoption grant with an additional $2.3 million applicant-provided match to spur economic development in five disadvantaged neighborhoods in Chicago with a comprehensive broadband awareness and adoption program that will include providing computers and training opportunities to more than 11,000 residents and 500 small businesses and not-for-profits. The project intends to create public computer centers at six community centers for working families and expand workstation capacity at four Business Resource Centers, as well as provide 1,500 residents and small businesses that complete a multi-session training course with laptops and netbooks.

Minnesota – C.K. Blandin Foundation: $4.9 million sustainable broadband adoption grant with an additional $1.5 million applicant-provided match to launch the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities initiative, a multi-sector, comprehensive approach to sustainable broadband adoption targeting residents, small businesses, local governments, and critical services providers in each of Minnesota’s 80 rural counties. The project anticipates training as many as 2,500 individuals in computer literacy, online education, and workforce development, and plans to distribute 1,000 affordable refurbished computers. Funding will also support the development of institutional broadband applications for schools and healthcare facilities to help increase broadband adoption.

North Carolina – Fayetteville State University: $1 million public computer center grant with an additional $263,000 applicant-provided match to provide 30 new computer workstations, wireless Internet access, and training courses at a new public computer center for the Fayetteville, North Carolina, community, including residents of local public housing. The project will include courses on Internet basics, personal finance and health, and basic job skills. The first 50 users to complete all of these courses will receive a laptop computer for home use. This project will be led by Fayetteville State University, a Historically Black University, in partnership with the Fayetteville Metropolitan Housing Authority and other organizations that will provide training targeted to the needs of low-income persons.

Ohio and Pennsylvania – Zito Media Communications: $6.1 million broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $1.5 million applicant-provided match to create a 382-mile fiber ring with 10 gigabits of capacity through the counties of Geauga, Ashtabula, and Trumbull in Northeastern Ohio, and the counties of Erie, Crawford, and Mercer in Northwestern Pennsylvania. The project plans to deploy 342 miles of new fiber and 40 miles of leased fiber to directly connect an estimated 60 community anchor institutions at speeds from 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps, including hospitals, schools, public safety agencies, colleges, and libraries.

Vermont – Vermont Council on Rural Development: $2.5 million sustainable broadband adoption grant with an additional $1.2 million applicant-provided match to increase broadband Internet access and adoption in 24 small, mostly rural communities through a comprehensive effort combining broadband training, access, awareness, and planning. The Vermont Council on Rural Development and its project partners plan to train more than 1,800 individuals and distribute an estimated 1,200 computers to 4th and 5th grade students, as well as work with teachers to integrate broadband usage into lesson plans.

Virginia – Nelson County of Virginia: $1.8 million broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $457,000 applicant-provided match to enhance and expand broadband Internet services in areas of rural Nelson County, Virginia by deploying 31 miles of new fiber and four new wireless tower sites, and directly connecting 13 community anchor institutions. The anchor institutions receiving direct connections to the new network are expected to include seven county government facilities, four K-12 schools, a library, and the Blue Ridge Medical Center.

Virginia – Page County Broadband Authority: $1.6 million broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $412,000 applicant-provided match to deploy a 39-mile fiber network that will serve the four principal towns in Page County, Virginia, a rural and underserved area in the Shenandoah region of Western Virginia. The network expects to directly connect 29 anchor institutions including, 11 K-12 schools, three libraries, six healthcare facilities, Lord Fairfax Community College, and eight public safety institutions.

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