Illinois Grants $328M for Broadband to Frontier, Comcast, & Others

Illinois Grants $328M for Broadband to Frontier, Comcast, & Others

According to the list released by the Illinois Department of Commerce for the awardees of round 3 of the Connect Illinois broadband funding program, $328 million will be awarded, which will cover some of the costs of deploying broadband to areas lacking high-speed service.

Jo-Carroll Energy Co-op ($69,899,999 grants) and ProTek Communications ($50,982,417 grants ) top the Connect Illinois broadband funding program.

Twenty-one organizations, comprising local telecom providers, electric cooperatives, and others, will receive funding.

Some of the awards will be provided to individual localities, like Kendall County, which secured a $15 million award in March.

According to the funding reports, Frontiers and Comcast were the major winners of March, with $24.7 million to Frontiers and over $5 million to Comcast.

Veronica Bloodworth, Frontier’s chief network officer, mentioned in a prepared statement that “Expanding access to affordable, high-speed, reliable internet in unserved and underserved communities within our footprint is a huge part of Building Gigabit America,”

She further added, “This will unlock significant opportunities for the people in Greene County for generations to come.”

In Kendall County, they’re setting up a network to link government offices directly. This network will make money by charging businesses like data centers to use it.

They’ve hired Pivot-Tech to build it, with a total budget of $40 million. Pivot-Tech is bringing in an extra $25 million from private investors and bonds.

Kendall County plans to contract Pivot-Tech to handle the financing, building, and running of the network for a while.

Illinois Grant $328M for Broadband to Frontier, Comcast, & Others
Illinois Grant $328M for Broadband to Frontier, Comcast, & Others

The county will get a share of the profits, and when the deal ends, it will own the network and decide whether to run it itself, rent it out, or partner with another company.

In round 3 of the Connect Illinois broadband funding program, Jo-Carroll Energy Co-op will receive $69.9 million for 11 projects and ProTek Communications with $51 million for seven projects.

Apart from these, nine awardees will receive more than $10 million, whereas three will receive less than $1 million.

The full list of awardees is as follows:

  • Frontier
  • Grafton Technology
  • Jo-Carroll Energy Co-op
  • Kendall County
  • Logan County
  • Metro Communications
  • Oneida Telephone Cooperative
  • ProTek Communications
  • Shelby Electric Cooperative
  • Strada Communications
  • Surf Internet
  • Village of Troy Grove
  • Wabash Communications Co-operative
  • WK&T Cooperative
  • Adams Telsystems
  • Cable One
  • Central Illinois Regional Broadband Network
  • City of Chicago
  • Comcast
  • Crossville Telephone
  • Diverse Communications

Connect Illinois program

Connect Illinois program is a broadband development program that aims to enhance broadband infrastructure, prioritizing underserved areas.

With a budget of $400 million, the program is designed to address challenges such as sparse populations, geographical obstacles, and low adoption rates that have hindered widespread broadband availability.

Specifically, the program targets rural regions and communities of color to bridge the digital divide.

By addressing market failures and bolstering the business case for new deployments, Connect Illinois seeks to connect communities and individuals across the state with reliable, scalable internet service.

Additionally, the state plans to supplement the program with over $250 million from the Treasury Capital Projects Fund.

About the author

Eliana Cooper

Eliana Cooper is an esteemed editor at World-Wire, recognized for her expertise in sports and government news. With a background in Journalism and Political Science, she excels in delivering in-depth and factual reporting. Her work is known for its thorough research and clear presentation, making complex topics accessible. Eliana's contributions have earned her recognition, including the "Excellence in Sports Journalism" award in 2023.

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