$7.8 Million in ‘Broadband Access’ Grants Awarded Will Help Homes, Farms & Businesses

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Over 2,000 Homes, Businesses, Farms Get Tech Help

State Rep. Blaine Wilhour has been informed that three grants have been awarded in the 107th District to help expand internet capabilities for homes, farms, businesses and healthcare organizations. A projected 2,015 households, farms, and businesses will benefit from the first round projects that are in underserved areas in Bond and Effingham Counties.

“These grants require at least a 50-50 matching fund source in order to qualify which means the total value of these projects is over $15 million in fiber-to-the-premises projects for our area,” said Rep. Wilhour. “These upgrades will allow our residents to access real-time services such as e-learning, video streaming and tele-health, as well as engage in tele-work.”

The following are the projects approved in the first round of grants:

Allpoint NetworX – $2,679,502   Area Served: Bond and Madison Counties

This upgrade to 1 Gigabit capability will serve a total of 926 premises, including 846 unserved households and 80 unserved businesses, farms, and community anchor institutions located in Bond County and a portion of Madison County.

Illinois Fiber Connect, LLC – $4,874,174       Area Served: Beecher City & Effingham County south of Effingham

This project impacts 207 unserved households, businesses, farms, and community anchor institutions in Beecher City and 637 unserved households, businesses, farms, and community anchor institutions in the area south of Effingham.

Mediacom 2 – $249,424             Area Served: Edgewood

This project will serve 234 unserved households, 11 businesses and three community anchor institutions in Edgewood. Mediacom will construct broadband in unserved/underserved areas capable of supporting download and upload speeds of 1000 Megabits per second or greater to residential and business customers.

“Our area has a strong agricultural industry and access to high-speed internet will allow farmers to improve efficiency and become more competitive being able to use technologies to track and monitor crop prices, weather, livestock, crop and soil quality and inventory,” added Wilhour.

For more on these and other DCEO grant programs, please visit DCEO’s website.