LITCHFIELD – September 19, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today announced a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership between the State of Illinois, local governments, Norlight Telecommunications, Motorola, and Royell Communications that will bring high-speed, affordable broadband Internet service to the counties of Macoupin and Montgomery. As part of the Vince Demuzio Broadband Initiative, underserved rural communities will have the access they need to stimulate economic development, job growth, and increased competitiveness for the state.
“We want to have world-class, high-speed networks everywhere in Illinois – especially in our rural communities,” said Governor Quinn. “The future of Illinois depends on our ability to use the latest in technology and I am proud to say the people of Macoupin and Montgomery Counties will not be left offline; everybody in – nobody left out – that’s my philosophy.”
- Without Broadband Access:
- Public safety needs cannot be fully addressed.
- Educational needs cannot be fairly addressed.
- Emerging Healthcare needs for high bandwidth cannot be met.
- Business growth is delayed.
The Vince Demuzio Broadband Initiative addresses these needs by ensuring that high-speed data and communication services will be offered in Macoupin and Montgomery counties even though they lack a large concentration of customers. With affordable broadband, these counties will attract new human, financial, physical and technological capital to the region.
In 2006, Governor Quinn took the lead to secure state seed funding to invest in this project. The Demuzio project partnership represents the first of many more like it in Illinois, thanks to an unprecedented $7.2 billion national investment in broadband technology, made possible through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Governor Quinn’s “Illinois Jobs NOW!” public works program includes $50 million for broadband deployment, which will help Illinois leverage federal broadband grant and loan programs.
The press conference was held in the Arts and Technology Building Auditorium at Lincoln Land Community College in Litchfield. Senator Deanna Demuzio, Representative Betsy Hannig, Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig joined in the announcement.
As chairman of the Illinois Broadband Deployment Council since 2005, Quinn is committed to improving access to high-speed Internet technology for all Illinois residents. For more information about the Governor’s broadband and ARRA initiatives, please visit broadband.illinois.gov or recovery.illinois.gov.