BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Governor JB Pritzker made a stop in the stateline on Thursday to get a firsthand look at some of the technology that is helping get broadband access to rural communities.
Pritzker visited Washington Academy, where U.S. Cellular set up an example of its 5G technology. The tech is playing a key part in “Connect Illinois,” a program designed to identify and address broadband service equity gaps.
The governor said that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of high-speed access, saying that 5G plays an important role in bridging the digital divide.
“Seventy-five percent of the territory of the State of Illinois is farmland and rural, and we want to make sure we can hit everywhere we can,” Pritzker said. “What’s most important though, is whatever the technology is, we get people relatively high-speed broadband.”
Illinois has invested more than $420 million into creating broadband access and training.