DANVILLE – August 31, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today celebrated a $12 million federal award to expand broadband access in rural eastern Illinois communities. Supported by Illinois Jobs Now! capital funding, the federal award will enable Danville-based Cellular Properties, Inc. to expand broadband service, creating approximately 267 jobs, and serving more than 7,000 businesses and 700 community institutions.
“Building information infrastructure brings new jobs, education, health and public safety opportunities to underserved areas,” said Governor Quinn. “These types of public-private partnerships are critical for our economy, and for our future.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service awarded Cellular Properties, Inc. more than $12 million in grant and loan funding toward the project, which will allow the company to expand its 3G wireless broadband service to 11 rural communities.
The nearly $24 million project received a $1 million boost from Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! public works program. The state funding will be administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Cellular Properties will also contribute roughly $11 million in private investment for the expansion, which will nearly double its number of cellular towers by 2013.
The Danville-based project is one of 13 broadband expansion awards secured for Illinois since February. These awards represent more than $250 million of investment in the Illinois economy, including $167 million in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.
Thousands of institutions, including schools, hospitals, libraries, and police and fire stations, in more than 80 Illinois counties will directly benefit from these awards. In total, the projects will create or retain more than 2,000 new Illinois jobs.
A longtime advocate of broadband-based opportunities in Illinois, Governor Quinn made funding for technology projects a priority and included it in the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program. For more information, visit Broadband.Illinois.gov.