CARTERVILLE – October 14, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by state and local leaders at John A. Logan College to announce a $45.4 million project to construct high-speed fiber optic broadband infrastructure in 23 Illinois counties. The project will create more than 150 jobs and is funded by $11.3 million from the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, $2.5 million in private funding and a $31.5 million competitive federal award.
“State-of-the-art information and communication networks are critical components of Illinois’ continued economic recovery,” Governor Quinn said. “In the last year we have worked hard to secure nearly $245 million in federal broadband funding to connect our homes and businesses and create more than 3,000 jobs.”
The federal grant was secured through a highly-competitive contest managed by the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The successful grant proposal was submitted by Delta Communications, LLC d/b/a Clearwave Communications on behalf of the Illinois Broadband Opportunity Partnership – Southern Region. Harrisburg-based Clearwave Communications will utilize the funds to connect approximately 232 community institutions.
The counties benefiting from the project include Alexander, Clay, Clinton, Edwards, Franklin, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pulaski, Randolph, Richland, Saline, St. Clair, Union, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, White, and Williamson.
This project is one of 17 broadband expansion awards Illinois has secured since February. These awards represent more than $350 million of investment in the Illinois economy, including nearly $245 million in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.
Together, the projects are expected to put more than 3,000 people to work and connect thousands of institutions, including schools, hospitals, libraries, and police and fire stations, in more than 80 Illinois counties.
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.