Illinois Department of Central Management Services

Illinois Broadband Opportunity Partnership – East Central Region

The Illinois Department of Central Management Services plans to deploy a high-speed fiber middle mile network across a 55-county region of northeastern, central, and eastern Illinois to address a lack of suitable broadband access for community anchor institutions in many of the region’s rural, economically distressed counties. The Illinois Broadband Opportunity Partnership project plans to construct more than 1,000 miles of new fiber while upgrading just over 1,000 miles of the state’s existing education network, Illinois Century Network (ICN), which provides a gateway to advanced online applications for K-12 schools, libraries, and non-research higher education institutions. The project also proposes to interconnect with two round one BTOP awardees: DeKalb county’s DeKalb Advancement of Technology Authority Broadband project and University of Illinois Board of Trustees’ Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband project.

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BTOP In Action
A construction crew member oversees the upgrade of existing fiber

The Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) recognized a need for increased broadband capacity in many of Illinois’ rural, economically distressed counties. To address this digital divide, CMS is building a 2,000-mile fiber network comprised of 1,000 miles of new fiber and 1,000 miles of upgraded existing fiber. The network will increase speeds to approximately 1GB for community anchor institutions (CAIs) and provide low-cost Internet service primarily in underserved areas in 55 counties across central Illinois. As of September 30, 2011, CMS had upgraded approximately 600 miles of existing fiber and created 83 jobs as part of the construction.

CMS already established and activated the first backbone link of the network, which is being used by existing customers. CMS expects to connect its first CAI in the first quarter of 2012. Once the network is complete, the project plans to connect nearly 400 CAIs, including approximately 100 K-12 schools, 20 libraries, 30 healthcare organizations, 30 public safety agencies, 100 state and local government agencies, and every community college in the service area.

CMS is part of the Illinois Broadband Opportunity Partnership that includes two BTOP recipients: DeKalb County Government and the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. The three organizations plan to interconnect their networks to advance the partnership’s goal of ensuring that all communities in the State have access to affordable and sustainable broadband services.

Last Updated: January 5, 2012

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