Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Office of Broadband Wednesday announced $47 million in funding for 22 projects in every region of the state through the second round of Connect Illinois, the state’s broadband expansion plan.
Round Two funding includes $23 million in Connect Illinois grant awards matched by $24 million in nonstate funding for a total of over $47 million, with plans to expand broadband access to approximately 13,000 homes, businesses, farms, and community institutions across Illinois – through 22 new projects, with at least one in every region of the state.
Those receiving funding in southern Illinois include Clearwave ($500,000) for Johnson, Saline and Williamson counties. ProTek Communications in Williamson County will receive $2 million. WKT Telecom Cooperative will see $5 million for Pulaski and Union counties.
To promote broadband access, the Illinois Office of Broadband is making $350 million in funding available through a third round of grants, which will be accepted and awarded on a rolling basis through 2024, or until funds are depleted.
Funding for Connect Illinois is made possible by Pritzker’s $45 billion Rebuild Illinois capital plan as well as federal broadband funding available through the American Rescue Plan Act.