FCC awards Illinois $26M for rural broadband expansion

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTVO) — The Federal Communications Commission announced Monday it will be providing $26 million to Illinois to expand rural broadband.

The funding comes from the Connect America Fund Phase II.

The plan is to expand broadband to more than 6,700 homes and businesses in Illinois.

“The gap in broadband services across the state of Illinois is stark and needs to be addressed. This additional funding announcement is great news for my constituents who live in rural areas and will help ensure these communities have the connectivity they need to improve education, increase efficiency and innovation, and remain competitive economically,” said Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R).

Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans to spend $420 million on connecting all of Illinois to high-speed broadband Internet with his Connect Illinois plan, which focuses on education, tele-health and economic development.

A Broadband Advisory Council will create a plan to provide Internet to more students, low income households, and rural communities.

“Too many of our towns and our counties and communities have been left out of the digital revolution, especially downstate. And, it’s time for that to change,” Pritzker said.

The council has to present a plan to Pritzker and the General Assembly by December 31st, 2019.

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