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Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois Broadband

Govenor Pat Quinn Announces More Than $13 Million to Improve Broadband Access in Northern Illinois

Governor Pat Quinn

(Chicago, IL) — February 19, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced more than $13 million to improve broadband access in northern Illinois.

The funding includes $1.3 million in Illinois Jobs Now! capital funds for the DeKalb Advancement of Technology Authority (DATA), which will leverage $11.9 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funding.

“Unfortunately, too many people in Illinois are being left out of the broadband revolution,” said Quinn. “This important funding will expand broadband access to communities throughout northern Illinois and help ensure no one is left out.”

The DATA plan will potentially serve more than 3,600 businesses and 34,000 households with fiber or low-cost broadband services.

The DATA is a consortium of public and private entities created to support high-speed, low-cost broadband infrastructure solutions in the DeKalb region. The grant will go toward providing broadband access to schools, colleges and universities, municipalities, medical facilities and other community agencies.

According to the DATA, construction of the fiber-optic cable network is expected to create more than 20 construction jobs over the next two to three years. As the network expands, it is expected to add up to 30 highly technical jobs in the DeKalb area to support it. The proposed network will cost approximately $14.8 million to build over the next two years.

The federal funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

The State of Illinois has designated a total of $50 million in state funds as a match for exceptional projects that are awarded federal BTOP funding. In addition to providing the matching grants, the state provided technical grant writing assistance to Illinois-based ARRA applicants.

Recently, Illinois received $1.8 million in funding for broadband data collection, mapping and planning activities.

Quinn was joined at today’s announcement by Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, NTIA, U.S. Department of Commerce; U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.); State Sen. Brad Burzynski (R-Clare); State Rep. Robert Pritchard (R-Hinckley); Ruth Ann Tobias, Chairman, DeKalb County Board; and Herb Kuryliw, Network and Technology Architect, Northern Illinois University.

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and blogger at The Huffington Post, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.


5 Responses to “Govenor Pat Quinn Announces More Than $13 Million to Improve Broadband Access in Northern Illinois”

  1. State cannot pay its’ rent, medicaid unfunded, schools unfunded, pensions unfunded, libraries unfunded, mental health unfunded. FUNDED: raises for state legislators, judges, jobs for relatives and Broadband for those left out of the broadband revolution. Time for a good old fashioned revolution.

    Posted by Jim Sather | February 19, 2010, 1:42 PM
  2. Jim,

    The money comes from the sale of bonds–both federal and state–and can only be used for hard infrastructure projects, not for ongoing programs, services or salaries. Put your revolution on hold.

    Thank you for reading.

    David Ormsby

    Posted by David Ormsby | February 19, 2010, 1:57 PM
  3. Don’t we have to pay the bonds back sooner or later? Just like the lottery money to school but take the state money from general fund that used to go to schools. I have my torches ready.

    Posted by Jim Sather | February 19, 2010, 2:00 PM
  4. Jim,

    No money is diverted from the general revenue fund. Last year, the legislature raised taxes on alcohol, gaming, etc. and that dedicated revenue backs the new Illinois construction bonds. But keep the torches, hopefully unlit, nearby.

    David Ormsby

    Posted by David Ormsby | February 19, 2010, 4:48 PM
  5. the state claimes they don’t have any money for anything, but yet they can pay over 23.000 dollars per inmate to be in prison. though they say that they have no money is this the reason because, the prisons are getting everything. its not like they are helping out our prisoners and loved ones locked up inside. in fact, some prisons are feeding left overs because they claim that they have no money. so my question is where is all the money going that we have to give to the state. I looked up east moline’s prison and it states on the website that they get 23,434.00 per inmate. it is over crowded so where is all our money going?

    Posted by Kristy Ballard | July 2, 2010, 5:13 PM

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