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June 8, 1999

Governor Creates Illinois Century Network

SUGAR GROVE -- Governor George H. Ryan today created the Illinois Century Network to harness the teaching and research potential of Illinois' technological infrastructure.

"Illinois and Illinois' future leaders need the Illinois Century Network," Ryan said. "We are going to create a place where universities, colleges, schools, libraries, government agencies, museums and businesses can all communicate and share information regardless of their geographic location.

"Our state's new budget includes $17 million to build the Illinois Century Network. This network will make sharing ideas, educating our children and delivering services easier than it has ever been before."

HB 2088 calls for the creation of a vast network where information can be exchanged and created. Universities, colleges, schools, libraries, government agencies, museums and businesses will be able to utilize the expanded capacity of the Illinois Century Network in an interactive and collaborative environment.

For example, suppose there are two architecture classes, one in Quincy and one in Marion, that are working with an architecture firm in Chicago to plan a building.(MORE) (99 -137) Students who are working without the Illinois Century Network may only interact via the telephone, mail or email.

With the help of the Illinois Century Network each of the classes and the architecture firm could meet and interact together by "dialing" into their environment. In this interactive space, where their building would exist virtually, ideas could be exchanged freely and quickly. With the help of the Illinois Century Network the architecture students would learn and receive immediate advice from the their fellow classmates and the architecture firm as design changes are made with the click of a mouse over a shared workspace.

The Illinois Century Network will be based on a network backbone sized for 4,000 public elementary and secondary schools, 48 community colleges and 12 public university campuses. There will be additional backbone capacity for 3,000 private colleges and universities, private schools, government agencies, museums and libraries.

The Illinois Century Network legislation was sponsored by state senator Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale. In the House, the bill was sponsored by state representatives Constance Howard, D-Chicago; Judy Erwin, D-Chicago; Robert Biggins, R-Elmhurst; George Scully, D-Flossmoor; Louis Lang, D-Skokie; Kevin McCarthy, D-Orland Park; Thomas Ryder, R-Jerseyville; Jeffrey Schoenberg, D-Evanston; Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville; Dale Righter, R-Mattoon; William O'Connor, R-Riverside; Coy Pugh, D-Chicago and Randall Hultgren, R-Wheaton.


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