broadband 071921KANKAKEE – In an effort to bring high-quality broadband to residents, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is urging local organizations to apply for the second round of state broadband grant funding.

“Reliable internet access is more important than ever as people continue to work remotely and participate in summer classes online,” Joyce said. “I’m encouraging local organizations to apply for broadband funding as we work to expand digital access in our communities.”

The Office of Broadband Regional Engagement for Adoption + Digital Equity (READY) program is designed to increase access, adoption and use of high-speed internet access through the lens of digital equity and inclusion. To further these efforts across all ten economic development regions of the state, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Broadband is launching the next READY notice of funding opportunity, with another $250,000 in grants now available.

The Broadband READY program is part of a comprehensive Digital Equity Package to boost broadband capacity while addressing existing broadband equity gaps. The READY program and other investments to enhance community planning and equitable implementation will complement the Connect Illinois program, a $400 million plan to deliver universal access to high-speed internet statewide.

Funding can be used to expand immediate broadband connectivity, conduct outreach and engagement to identify current digital inequities, and establish next steps forward. Its aim is to create a digital inclusion ecosystem through regional collaboration among institutions of higher education, planning councils, community and economic development organizations, schools, libraries, health care and local leaders, and other related stakeholders.

“The pandemic has proven how important reliable internet access is for our rural communities,” Joyce said. “With our increasingly digital world, it’s vital that local organizations apply to ensure all communities have equal access.”

The application deadline for the second round of READY grants is Oct. 4, 2021. Visit the Illinois Office of Broadband website for information on eligibility criteria and application assistance.

Category: Press Releases

Small Business Tour

Cooling Centers

COVID19 Updates

eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.

Follow Sen. Joyce

facebooktwitter

 

Contact Me

Springfield Office:
118 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217.782.7419

District Office:
270 Main St.
Park Forest, IL 60466
708.756.0882