Illinois Broadband Awardees Headed to Washington; Aim to Build State Model for Broadband Deployment

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, October 27, 2010 – Illinois Recipients of the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) awards, part of the federal government's stimulus program, will be headed to the nation's capital for workshops on November 9th and 10th. 

The meetings, which will be held outside Washington in suburban Herndon, Virginia, will include presentations and panel discussions designed to provide guidance and training for the awardees concerning the Federal laws and regulations governing the BTOP-funded awards. Larry Strickling, Assistance Secretary of Commerce and Aneesh Chopra, Chief Technology Officer for the United States, are also scheduled to speak to the group, which will include awardees from all fifty states.

Last month, the Illinois recipients of the broadband stimulus awards gathered in Springfield to celebrate and plan how more than $351 million in federal, state and private investment would be used to build internet infrastructure and broadband outreach programs to eliminate the digital divide in Illinois. 

On September 27th and 28th, two days of meetings where hosted by broadbandillinois.org, or the Partnership for a Connected Illinois, a non-profit entity that is implementing a comprehensive, statewide high-speed internet deployment strategy and demand-creation initiative. 

Those events brought together award winners from the southern tip to the northwest corner of the State; from senior centers in Moline to a series of “smart communities” in Chicago; from rural wireless service providers to a fiber-to-the-home build in Urbana-Champaign. The event was webcast live on the internet, using the same broadband technology that the meeting attendees are promoting.

Several State officials were on hand to address those attending the meeting, include Warren Ribley, Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Lori Sorenson, Chief Operating Officer of the State’s Illinois Century Network; and Julie Hamos, Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. 

Several broadband stimulus awardees also gave presentations on their award winning projects to the crowd. Drew Clark, Executive Director of the Partnership for a Connected Illinois, addressed broadbandillinois.org’s role in coordinating statewide broadband activities.

Additionally, the governor's office utilized the occasion to announce new appointments to the Illinois Broadband Deployment Council. Chartered in 2005, with current-Gov. Pat Quinn as Chair, the Illinois Broadband Deployment Council has played a key role in preparing Illinois to receive better broadband.

CONTACT:

Jeff Eden, Outreach Director, Partnership for a Connected Illinois
jeff.eden@broadbandillinois.org
217-886-4226

Tags: Awardees, BTOP, DCEO, Smart Communities

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