Central eTeam Hosts Kick-off Meeting

Broadband enthusiasts from twelve Central Illinois counties gathered in Springfield on June 13 for a kick- off meeting of the Central eTeam. High-speed internet access, adoption and education were hot topics of discussion amongst providers, economic development professionals, and community leaders from across the region.

The group determined that education is a big need for this region. The Illinois Century Network and Vince DeMuzio Network are headquartered in the Central Region, and citizens would like to learn more about what opportunities are offered. Representatives from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity also noted they need more education about broadband opportunities in their regions.

Providers in the region have been busy expanding their service areas and hooking up homes and anchor institutions with no service.

A few projects in the area include:

  • AT&T is expanding wireline service and increasing speeds to Decatur.
  • Madison Communications is building fiber to hospitals and medial clinics.
  • Cass Communications completed a fiber to the home build in Manchester (click here for a photo album from the launch party.)
  • Frontier Communications is working on a pipeline project that will be done by the end of the year.
  • Wisper is building new towers throughout Southern Illinois and is lighting up schools without service.

“As a provider, I want to make a difference to the community I live in,” said Kim Harber of Madison Communications. “We need to work together to build private-public partnerships.”

Telephone cooperatives have played a large part in providing service to rural residents of the Central Region and provide high-speed internet service in five of the region’s 12 counties. Co-op representatives noted that they are interested in building infrastructure that would allow them to provide more reliable and economical services.

The Partnership for a Connected Illinois has now facilitated eTeam meetings in nine out of its ten regions and an eTeam coordinator for the Chicagoland region was recently hired. Information on the Request Broadband” tool and the new “Find Broadband” widget were also shared.

For more information on the Central eTeam region, contact Clayton Black

Tags: AT&T, Cass Communications, central eTeam, Frontier Communications, Illinois Century Network, Madison Communications, Springfield, Wisper

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