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NewsTribune: Internet for broadband desert

U.S. Reps. Kinzinger, LaHood applad funding for Illinois rural broadband

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LASALLE, IL, July 23, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTON, DC — Maps show much of rural America lacking broadband internet access, and much of rural Bureau County lacked service.

But the broadband desert is shrinking.

The Federal Communications Commission recently announced it was authorizing $7.9 million in funding for expansion and 10 years of support for broadband access in Bureau County in 3,190 unserved locations. Marshall County also was authorized for $1.1 million in broadband expansion at 554 locations without service.

Republican U.S. Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Channahon and Darin LaHood of Peoria applauded FCC to authorize more than $35 million for rural broadband deployment and development in Illinois.

The authorized resources from the Connect America Fund includes more than $7 million specifically directed to Bureau County and Stark County, which has been designated for 3,825 unserved locations according to the FCC’s recent announcement.

“This news from the FCC is a huge win for my constituents who live in rural areas and have little to no broadband internet access,” said Kinzinger. “The gap in broadband services between urban and suburban areas compared to rural areas is stark and unacceptable. We need to ensure rural communities like mine are able to attract and retain businesses, close the gaps in our education, help farmers increase efficiency, facilitate telemedicine initiatives, and more.”

LaHood and Kinzinger say more work needs to be done on this front.

“In central and west-central Illinois, access to reliable and fixed broadband is essential for my constituents and I am pleased to see this significant investment into rural communities in our state,” said LaHood. “As we work to close the digital divide between rural and urban America, this investment will provide much-need access to high-quality broadband and improve connectivity for families around Illinois. I applaud the FCC for their commitment to rural communities across the 18th District.”

The original article can be found on the LaSalle News Tribune website here.
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