Illinois' Approach to Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Broadband Programs

Benton Institute for Broadband & Society

Friday, May 6, 2022

Weekly Digest

Illinois' Approach to Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Broadband Programs

Broadband Infrastructure Advancement Act will govern the state's use of federal broadband funds

 You’re reading the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society’s Weekly Digest, a recap of the biggest (or most overlooked) broadband stories of the week. The digest is delivered via e-mail each Friday.

Round-Up for the Week of May 2-6, 2022

Kevin Taglang

On April 19, Governor JB Pritzker (D-IL) signed the 2023 Illinois state budget into law. Included in the 500+ page legislation is the Broadband Infrastructure Advancement Act (P.A. 102-0699), the state's overarching procedures to make use of coming federal monies to support broadband deployment projects. The legislation is also a radical departure from the Illinois Broadband Deployment, Equity, Access, and Affordability Act of 2022 (SB 3683) which we highlighted for you back in March. Illinois now seeks to be in full compliance with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Compliance with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

In contrast to SB 3683, which seemed to risk Illinois' federal broadband support, the Broadband Infrastructure Advancement Act is explicit in its intention to be compliant with federal law and regulations. The new Illinois legislation reads:

This Act is intended to be construed in compliance and consistent with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and all regulations, rules, guidance, forms, instructions, and publications issued thereunder. In any instance in which this Act conflicts with such regulations, rules, guidance, forms, instructions, or publications, the latter shall prevail.

Legislative Oversight

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act allocates every state no less than $100 million to support projects that will connect every unserved location in the U.S. to a network offering broadband service of not less than 100 megabits per second for downloads and 20 megabits per second for uploads. Far from just throwing the money at the states, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act requires states to provide plans for connecting locations identified by the Federal Communications Commission as being unserved. Additionally, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will soon release details of a three-step process for states to win approval for support for broadband deployment projects. At each step, states must provide details about their plans and ability to reach the law's goals. 

In Illinois, the Broadband Infrastructure Advancement Act now requires the Illinois Office of Broadband to share any planned communication required by the NTIA with the Legislative Budget Oversight Commission at least 30 days prior to submission to the federal government. Created in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic (and scheduled to sunset on July 1, 2023), the purpose of the Legislative Budget Oversight Commission is to monitor budget management actions taken by the Illinois Office of the Governor or Governor's Office of Management and Budget and to oversee the distribution and expenditure of federal financial relief for State and local governments related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Broadband Infrastructure Advancement Act ensures the Oversight Commission will have the opportunity to review and advise on planned expenditures of state and federal grants for broadband projects.

After receiving draft communications from the Illinois Office of Broadband, the Legislative Budget Oversight Commission will review them, post them for public input,(1) hold a public hearing, and provide feedback to the broadband office. The law states that the broadband office "must consider comments and suggestions provided by the members of the Legislative Budget Oversight Commission and members of the public."

The Legislative Budget Oversight Commission may also request reports on grants supported by Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding.

Broadband Program Rules

The Broadband Infrastructure Advancement Act also requires the Illinois Office of Broadband to establish program eligibility and selection criteria by administrative rules for any grants for broadband deployment, broadband expansion, broadband access, broadband affordability, and broadband improvement projects. The administrative rules will establish programmatic information, including addressing application requirements and eligibility criteria.

NTIA guidelines for Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act broadband programs are expected in the next ten days. The Illinois Office of Broadband is likely to review those guidelines as it proposes rules for Illinois. 


  1. The following information will not be made public: i) information specifically prohibited from disclosure by federal or state laws, rules or regulations, ii) trade secrets, iii) security-sensitive information, and iv) proprietary, privileged, or confidential commercial or financial information from a privately held person or business which, if disclosed, would cause competitive harm.

Quick Bits

Weekend Reads (resist tl;dr)

ICYMI from Benton

Upcoming Events

May 10—Digital Equity Forum (Washington State Department of Commerce)

May 11—Digital Equity Forum (Washington State Department of Commerce)

May 11—Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Broadband Programs Pre-NOFO Technical Assistance Webinar #5 (NTIA)

May 12—Forensic algorithms: The future of technology in the US legal system

May 19—May 2022 Open Federal Communications Commission Meeting

May 19—Why the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Matters: A Breakdown and an Update (Michelson 20MM Foundation)

May 23—Broadband Technology Summit (Fierce)



The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all people in the U.S. have access to competitive, High-Performance Broadband regardless of where they live or who they are. We believe communication policy - rooted in the values of access, equity, and diversity - has the power to deliver new opportunities and strengthen communities.

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Kevin Taglang

Kevin Taglang
Executive Editor, Communications-related Headlines
Benton Institute
for Broadband & Society
1041 Ridge Rd, Unit 214
Wilmette, IL 60091
headlines AT benton DOT org

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