$100 Million Illinois Century Network Construction Brings Ultra-Fast Access to 55 Counties, including Iroquois, Ford, Kankakee, Livingston
Governor Pat Quinn Friday announced the completion of a nearly $100 million, four-year project to install more than 1,000 new miles of high-speed fiber-optic broadband infrastructure across 55 Illinois counties. Supported by the Governor's Illinois Jobs Now! construction program, the project created nearly 700 jobs expanding access to high-speed broadband services for schools, libraries, hospitals and internet providers throughout Illinois. The network is part of the Governor's agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois' economy forward.
Iroquois, Ford, Livingston, Kankakee, Vermilion and Champaign counties all benefit.
"High-speed internet access is a proven economic engine," Governor Quinn said. "This expansion of Illinois' broadband backbone will create jobs and drive economic growth for generations to come."
"Investing in technology strengthens our public education system," Illinois State University Board Chairman Rocky Donahue said. "I want to thank Governor Quinn for his vision, leadership and partnership with ISU on this project."
To finish the project, engineers, equipment operators, technicians, splicers, laborers and electricians worked together to bury more than 1,000 miles of new fiber optic cable, and "light up" about 750 miles of existing "dark" fiber. All told, about 1,800 miles of fiber-optic cable are now in use across Illinois because of this project.
The new network directly connects approximately 400 anchor institutions, including community colleges, universities, libraries, health facilities, K-12 schools and public safety agencies. Local internet providers can connect to the network to extend Internet service into communities with few or nonexistent high-speed options.