Illinois eyes plans to increase high speed

With an eye to Virginia's success in bringing high tech employment to rural areas, officials in Illinois are working hard to extend high speed Internet service to rural and underserved areas of the state.

The Broadband Deployment Council doles out grants to expand high speed Internet networks.  ConnectSI is a program in southern Illinois that is working to increase high speed connection from 12 percent to 54 percent by 2012 by tracking and reporting on residents without high speed Internet who want to be connected.

Legislation is under consideration in the state senate to creaet a new program, ConnectIL.  ConnectIL will build on the foundation that the Broadband Deploymenet Council and ConnectSI have laid by bringing public advocates and private business together to determine which areas of the state lack access then facilitating high-speed interent buildout buildout.

Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, who heads The Broadband Deployment Council, gets it:

More people using more bandwidth drives more return on network provider investment. And that will cause more infrastructure expansion. [...] Our basic theme is everybody in, nobody out.  I really feel we need to have that.

Virginia Takes the Initiative

Marion Daily Republican

Peoria Journal Star

Broadband Deployment Council Press Release

ConnectSI