Patch Panel Broadband access 2022


DANVILLE – Illinois communities are preparing for a broadband infrastructure investment, and State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is pleased to see Champaign and Vermilion Counties receive a portion of $47 million in newly-announced broadband expansion funding.

“It became apparent during the start of the COVID-19 crisis that our communities were challenged with internet access,” Bennett said. “This funding is part of an overall effort to provide reliable, high-speed, affordable internet access to every home, business and community across the state.”

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced funding for 22 projects in every region of the state. The money is part of the second round of Connect Illinois, which is the state's broadband expansion plan, and the funding will help 14 different internet service providers, rural cooperatives and local governments.

Locally, grant awards will make an impact at Comcast - Leisure Time Est. in Vermilion County, who was awarded $630,903, and at Comcast - Leisure Time Est. in Champaign, who was awarded $117,054. 

“The digital divide is an important issue to all Illinoisans and this investment is a great step toward a long-term solution,” Bennett said. “We are well on our way to making a significant difference in Champaign and Vermilion Counties.”

The Illinois Office of Broadband plans to make $350 million of funding available in a third round of grants, which will be awarded on a rolling basis through 2024 or until funds are depleted. The funding is made available by the bipartisan $45 billion Rebuild Illinois capital plan.