Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge


Governor Pat Quinn is launching a competition that will award up to $4,000,000 in prize funding to the most promising ultra high-speed broadband deployment projects in Illinois as part of the comprehensive, multi-year Illinois Jobs Now! economic development program.

Open to any private or public organization, the contest will result in seed funding awards to build or expand world-class broadband networks in Illinois. Each proposal should outline a viable plan to connect at least 1,000 end users to an ultra high-speed broadband network.

The best proposals will outline how completing ultra-high speed network construction by the end of 2013 will, among other objectives:

  • Improve employment opportunities;
  • Enhance economic development through the development of “smart communities” ;
  • Bring Illinois closer to our goal of increasing the proportion of residents with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025;
  • Connect health care professionals with their patients;
  • Position Illinois’ universities to continue to lead the nation in research, technology and innovation.

This represents another element in Governor Quinn’s effort to accelerate innovation and job growth in Illinois. Entrants will be encouraged to develop creative proposals that maximize total project investment and community benefits. Proposals that can serve as proofs-of-concept with a broader impact in Illinois will receive the highest consideration.