$115 million going towards broadband expansion across Illinois
Governor JB Pritzker has announced the first round of grant recipients for Connect Illinois funds set aside for broadband expansion.
$50 million in state grants will be matched by $65 million in non-state funding for 28 projects estimated to reach more than 26,000 homes, businesses, and farms across Illinois.
The funds have been released as part of the $420 million Connect Illinois plan with the goal of bringing basic internet access to all Illinois communities by 2024.
It is estimated that 40% of Illinois farmers are underserved or completely without reliable internet access. Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert says reliable broadband is a necessity for the success of Illinois agriculture and farm family life and that he appreciates the State of Illinois for this service in areas where it is needed most.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity anticipates another round of program grants later this year.