Gov Pritzker Announces Accelerate Illinois Broadband Infrastructure Planning Program

Gov JB Pritzker (D-IL) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Office of Broadband announced the Accelerate Illinois Broadband Infrastructure Planning Program. The program – a collaborative effort by the Illinois Office of Broadband, Illinois-based Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, and University of Illinois Extension – will help local governments throughout Illinois receive expert support as they prepare to leverage new dollars that will be made available by the state as well as through the historic passage of the federal infrastructure program. The collaboration opportunity is made possible through the financial support of Heartland Forward and its Connecting the Heartland Initiative. The Illinois Office of Broadband is calling on local units of government to apply to receive expert support offered as part of an intensive 14-week community engagement program designed to turn available public broadband funding into sustainable broadband access. The Accelerate Illinois program works to prepare communities for establishing and implementing a full-scale broadband connectivity vision. Through over 30 hours of no-cost expert counsel provided by the Benton Institute, the program offers structured engagement for communities to identify broadband goals, understand available funding options, and target capital dollars to support implementation. The Accelerate Illinois "Notice of Collaboration Opportunity" is open now and accepting applications through December 30, 2021. The State expects to serve up to 12 communities as part of this initial pilot initiative.

Gov Pritzker announces the Accelerate Illinois Initiative to help communities prepare for broadband infrastructure investment