Broadband Terms & Definitions


BTOP provides grants to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas, to enhance broadband capacity at public computer centers, and to encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service. Through this support, BTOP will also advance the Recovery Act’s objectives to spur job creation and stimulate long-term economic growth and opportunity.


Providing access to broadband services will increase economic development and improve the quality of life for all Americans. BIP funding for loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations will assist with addressing the challenge of rapidly expanding the access and quality of broadband services across rural America and to meet the objectives of the Recovery Act.

Internet Backbone

This is a network of large, high-bandwith fiber optic cables that span the country and the globe.

Middle Mile

The middle mile is the critical infrastructure of fiber optic cable that connects the last mile (the connection to homes, schools, businesses, etc.) to the Internet backbone.

Last Mile

Local network Internet service providers offer last mile in the form of telephone, cable, digital, satellite and wireless services to connect the Internet into homes, businesses, etc.

Comprehensive Community Infrastructure

Projects that focus primarily on middle mile infrastructure while creating new or substantially upgraded connections to CAI’s.

Community Anchor Institution

An institution that has a critical role that potentially offers resources, supports planning, and operational/administrative roles for vulnerable communities and include public schools, health care, public safety, institutions of higher education and libraries. 

Sustainable Broadband Adoption

Sustainable broadband adoption involves innovative projects that promote broadband demand, including projects focused on providing broadband education, awareness, training, access, equipment or support, particularly among groups that traditionally have underutilized broadband technology.

Partnership for a Connected Illinois 1337 Wabash Ave. Springfield, IL 62704 Phone: (217) 886-4228 Fax: (217) 718-4546