Franklin Broadband Project Included in First Round of Connect Illinois Funding

By Jeremy Coumbes on June 25, 2020 at 8:58am

Franklin moved a step closer to broadband internet access today.

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced $50 million in Connect Illinois grants awarded to 28 projects throughout the state.

The $50 million in state grants will be matched by $65 million in nonstate funding for a total of $115 million. Pritzker says this first round of grant funding plans to expand access for more than 26,000 homes, businesses, farms, and community institutions across Illinois.

Over $210,000.00 is being released to Mediacom to construct broadband infrastructure in Franklin. According to the release, the last-mile deployment will serve 224 unserved households, 13 businesses and three community anchor institutions in Franklin, that are currently served by wire line offerings.

The DCEO release also says in order to meet the high-capacity requirements of any large business customers in the project area, Mediacom will have the ability to extend fiber-optic cable from the node site directly to the business customer’s premise with upload/download speeds selected by the customer.

The funds are being released as part of the state’s $420 million statewide broadband expansion, Connect Illinois which plans to bring basic access to all communities in the state by 2024.

Pritzker says the inequality in available services throughout the state, became more glaring during the last few months.

For too long, too many of our neighborhoods, cites, towns and counties, have been left out of the digital revolution. The unacceptable consequences of disparities in broadband access were clear before the COVID-19 pandemic – and over the last few months, we’ve seen firsthand what it means when a small business that had to close its doors has no online shop, what it means when an elderly couple has no safe way to get medical advice at a distance, what it means when a child has no ability to access homework assignments online. This work has never been more urgent – the disadvantages that persist when our communities are left out of opportunity demand ambitious efforts to bring them to a close.”

Pritzker says the Connect Illinois plan aims to improve access through an unprecedented capital investment and with the nation’s largest grant matching program.

Other communities awarded grants in West and South West Central Illinois include projects set for Adams and Brown Counties, Macoupin and Madison Counties, Calhoun County and Jersey County.