More than 1,000 homes, 150 businesses and 200 farms in Jo Daviess County will have access to high-speed broadband internet thanks to a new round of statewide funding.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker this week announced $50 million in Connect Illinois grants to 28 projects across the state, including more than $6 million to JoCarroll Energy Cooperative.
The funds are being released as part of the state’s $420 million statewide broadband expansion plan, Connect Illinois, with plans to expand broadband access for more than 26,000 homes, businesses, farms and community institutions across Illinois, according to a press release.
In Jo Daviess County, grant funds will be used to expand broadband access, with download and upload speeds of 1 gigabit per second, by building high-speed fiber connections to 1,122 unserved or underserved households, 150 businesses, 213 farms and two “community anchor institutions,” a release states.
The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity said doing so will “improve access to critical e-learning applications,” make agricultural operations more efficient, improve access to rural health care resources and “stimulate a more robust local area economy.”
A second broadband expansion project funded through state grants will serve about 424 households, 87 businesses and 126 farms throughout rural areas of Carrol, Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Whiteside counties.