News from Broadband Illinois, May 2nd, 2012

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eTeam Efforts Making a Difference    

Our eTeam efforts are beginning to make a difference for enhanced infrastructure and better access to high-speed internet throughout the State. Our ten eTeam regions consist of groups of regional and statewide stakeholders from private companies, government and economic development officials, and the not-for-profit world.  
The main objective of the eTeams is to move beyond partnership-forming and to begin to allow real companies to capitalize on new opportunities – such as Governor Pat Quinn’s Gigabit Challenge. Through the eTeams, many areas of the State have been able to mobilize support in order to think big about the bandwidth needs of their communities with applications for the Gigabit Challenge, which are due on June 30, 2012.
Broadband Illinois website resources for your eTeam region are available online under our “eTeam” sections, where we highlight a range of documents, opportunities, and contact information. Additionally, the eTeams are poised to assist you in promoting computer literacy training.  If you’re a librarian or another entity offering computer training at your internet center, or if you know other places where web training is available, let us know at  

Spotlight on Tel-Star Cablevision

Tel-Star Cablevision provides video, phone and high-speed Internet access to more than 1,800 customers throughout Woodford, Tazewell and Peoria counties.

“Our goal is to provide quality service to rural residents, especially in areas that have been overlooked by other providers” said John Gregory, Director of Operations for Tel-Star Cablevision, Inc. “We’ve been serving rural residents since 1989 and take pride in bringing broadband and information services to remote areas of Illinois.”
Recently, Tel-Star has partnered with Mediacom to lay six miles of fiber in the area. The project will upgrade 100 households from T-1 to fiber-optic speeds.

Visit updated provider pages,including Tel-Star's, on the Broadband Illinois website.

North Central eTeam focuses on economic development

The North Central eTeam continues to convene and collaborate with stakeholders in their ten-county region. On April 12, economic development professionals, local government, and broadband carriers met in Peoria to discuss the latest broadband developments.  
Each provider made a presentation on needs and successes in their coverage areas. A significant need for many small, local providers in the North Central region is access to affordable bandwidth. Parts of the region were not included in BTOP (Broadband Technology Opportunity Program) awards and carriers are struggling to bridge this gap. While the region does have two "urban hubs" Bloomington-Normal and Peoria, a large portion of the region is rural and agriculture-based.
Kathie Brown, University of Illinois Extension educator, was a key leader in forming the North Central group.
“We know the positive impact of broadband in our communities, schools, hospitals, and economy,” Brown said. “This infrastructure is essential and we need to continue learning how to boost access to technology.”
John Whalen, regional manager for the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity in the North Central region, has been working with an economic development group based along the I-39 Corridor between Bloomington-Normal and LaSalle-Peru. A main focus for this group is broadband.
“We’re trying to identify and leverage critical infrastructure that’s already in this area,” said Whalen. “Internet access is no longer a luxury, it’s essential for business and residential quality of life.” 

Upcoming Events and Activities

TECH 2012, 1-3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2
Downtown Springfield, Inc Upper Story Tour, 5-8 p.m. on Thursday, May 3
Rural Leaders Listening Post, 10 a.m.-noon on Tuesday, May 10
Schools, Health & Libraries Coalition Conference, Tuesday, May 22- Thursday, May 24

Want to Work for Better Broadband? 

We're searching for two full-time team members to join our Broadband-enthused not-for-profit. The first position is for a Springfield-based 'Better Broadband, Better Lives' Program Manager who will oversee an innovative grant program focused on job creation and economic growth. We are also looking for a Chicagoland Regional eTeam Network and Technology Facilitator who will work with stakeholders in the region. 

Links Worth Clicking On 

The Man Who Makes the Future At 22, Marc Anderson created the first web browser, Mosaic, at the University of Illinois and changed the way we communicate.
Texting that Saves Lives Nancy Lublin talks about her text-only crisis line for teens. 
African American Elders Log In Seniors in St. Louis learn computer skills, land jobs, supplement social security
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Springfield, IL 62701
Phone: (217) 280-4066
Fax: (217) 718-4546

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Want to work for Better Broadband and Better Lives in Illinois? Know someone who does? See our Job Opportunites page and send resumes to

Have an event, announcement, or feedback you'd like to share? Let us know and we'll include it in a future newsletter. 

The Partnership for a Connected Illinois, Inc. (PCI), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Springfield, Illinois. Its missions are to ensure broadband access throughout the State of Illinois, maximize broadband’s impact and use, and collect and publish broadband-related data, information, and research. 

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Broadband Illinois has a 3-fold mission to: collect and publish broadband data, ensure broadband access throughout the State, and maximize broadband's impact.

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Partnership for a Connected Illinois 531 E Washington, 5th Floor Springfield, IL 62701 Phone: (217) 886-4228 Fax: (217) 718-4546