Fiber optic line coming to county courthouse within days (Arenac County Independent) August 1, 2013

The Arenac County courthouse should be seeing substantial savings from moving to a fiber optic line for telephones and internet service this month. What’s more, wireless internet at the courthouse could be added soon.

Volo to demonstrate fiber service in Thomasboro (News Gazette) July 26, 2013

Volo Broadband will host a public demonstration Saturday of its fiber broadband service in Thomasboro.

The service, which has a starting price of $29.95 a month, is touted as the “first sub-$30-per-month gigabit fiber service in the country,” according to a Volo release.

Jacksonville City Council votes to study fiber internet (Journal Courier) July 23, 2013

As part of a larger statewide project, fiber Internet has reached Jacksonville and now local governments are considering just how feasible it would be to cable the whole community.

UC2B saves public money with better broadband in Illinois (Community Broadband Networks) July 22, 2013

The City of Champaign is now celebrating the transition to the UC2B fiber network. With underground fiber lines, the City will no longer be plagued by weather related interruptions. Champaign is also counting on significant savings on a network that is more than 1000 times faster than the old connections.

IL: Mayor Emanuel announces free wi-fi at five Chicago beaches (Broadband Properties) July 22, 2013

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Park District announced today that five city beaches will now offer free Wi-Fi to visitors. Starting today, beachgoers will be able to access free high-speed Wi-Fi at North Avenue, Osterman/Hollywood, Montrose, Foster and Rainbow beaches. The new networks at these five beaches are part of Mayor Emanuel’s overall commitment to extend free Wi-Fi to parks, beaches, and public plazas across Chicago.

Chicago apartments with incredibly high speed internet access (Chicago Tribune) July 10, 2013

Instant downloads 100 times faster than today’s broadband is now possible. MAC Property Management announced its new Shoreland luxury apartments will be the first rental apartments to offer internet speed up to 1Gbps. Shoreland offers studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartment homes. Shoreland is a lakefront community in the Hyde Park neighborhood, home to the University of Chicago and the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Fiber optic construction project underway (Crete-Monee Record Monitor) July 4, 2013

The “next phase” of a fiber optic cable installation project in the Chicago Southland communities began last week near Monee Village Hall.

Evanston to dabble in community owned connectivity (Community Broadband Networks) July 3, 2013

Evanston, Illinois, home to Northwestern University, has decided to expand its fiber network in a new project to connect residents and businesses in a targeted area. In 2012, the city and NU joined forces to apply for an Illinois Gigabit Community grant and the pair won the award this past January. Together, the entities won $2.5 million with a plan to encourage entrepreneur retention with an information corridor. The City plans to integrate 1 gigabit residential connectivity in a new condominium development and to nearby commercial property.

Southland fiber optic project moves ahead (Southtown Star) June 28, 2013

Faster communication and more bandwidth that could benefit Southland communities, schools and libraries are envisioned as the next phase of fiber-optic cable installation gets under way.

The project began last year with a $6.1 million state grant to the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, which is working with the Cook County Bureau of Technology.

Provider needed to make connection with new fiber optic cable (Quincy Herald-Whig) June 20, 2013

Fiber optic cable is coming to Pittsfield High School, but it may not be going anywhere else.

A federal grant funds work by Illinois Century Network to lay the cable from Interstate 72 to PHS. But neither ICN nor the school district will do the work to connect customers onto the new lines or make the connection between a potential point of presence on the Pittsfield square.

Network hub in Piatt office building requires rezoning (News Gazette) June 14, 2013

The Piatt County Office Building could serve as a hub for a fiber optic network being constructed in Monticello, but the county will need a zoning change before that happens.

Gigabit Squared and Zayo partner for Chicago gigabit neighborhood gateway program (Business Wire) June 11, 2013

Zayo Group today announced a partnership with Gigabit Squared, the architects of next-generation networks across the U.S., to deploy gigabit fiber and wireless in Chicago’s Mid-South Side. Zayo’s fiber deployment will serve as the backbone for the Gigabit Chicago project (, which is creating a gigabit community within Chicago, bringing with it the social and economic opportunities that ultra-fast broadband provides citizens and businesses.

Illinois GON finding out just how tough it is to run a broadband network (Coalition for the New Economy) (May 31, 2013

Urbana and Champaign, Ill. have spent $30 million on a government-owned broadband network. (Most of the funds came from a grant from the federal government.) But, as the Central Illinois News-Gazette reported earlier this week, customers are unhappy with the service they’ve received and the cost-per-subscriber for the underwhelming service is astounding.

NIU broadband (Northern Illinois University) June 4, 2013

…About 150 attendees learned about the importance of high-speed fiber and broadband to economic development in the region…

Big broadband or big boondoggle (News Gazette) May 30, 2013

Champaign-Urbana residents have been hearing for several years now about what a big success “Big Broadband” is going to be. But the only thing people know for sure is that, as things stand now, it’s a big mess.

New infrastructure amendment could mean AT&T U-Verse for thousands of Wheaton residents (Suburban Life Media) May 30, 2013

An amendment brought before the Wheaton City Council may give thousands of city residents access to high-speed internet and digital television through AT&T’s U-Verse service.

Gigabit Squared looking to transform nine Chicago neighborhoods (Fiber to the Home Council) May 28, 2013

Technology projects worth $150 million will transform nine South Side neighborhoods by 2015 with a data center, a job training center and ultra-high-speed Internet connections that will bring Chicago’s fastest fiber and wireless broadband capacity to 100,000 residents and 11,000 schools, businesses, hospitals and clinics, the project’s leader says.

High speed frustration (News Gazette) May 28, 2013

It took three tries to a call center in Charleston before one Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband customer got much help.

Chicago to be test city in push for wider and cheaper internet (Chicago Tribune) April 16, 2013

The city of Chicago is a pilot city in a national digital literacy campaign that will offer low-cost residential broadband service to residents of certain zip codes, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office announced Tuesday.

Plan makes city’s poor eligible for low cost internet service (Chicago Sun-Times) April 16, 2013

The digital divide that has left nearly 31 percent of all Chicagoans with little or no access to the Internet could narrow for as many as 1.1 million of the city’s poorest residents – thanks to a plan unveiled Tuesday that Mayor Rahm Emanuel called a “game changer.”

Here’s where Chicago’s digital divide lies (John Pletz Technology Blog) April 16, 2013

Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to bring low-cost broadband access to another 1 million Chicagoans and free Internet training through nonprofit Connect2Compete.

District 205’s fiber-optic network to connect students (The Register-Mail) March 16, 2013

A fiber-optic network consisting of 13.25 miles of cable links all of District 205’s buildings together and eventually will lead to one-on-one computing, something that will be needed as the state moves to require each student to take standardized tests online.

Champaign votes to enter new contract for fiber optic network (Daily Illini) February 20, 2013

The Champaign City Council voted to accept five resolutions with little discussion at its meeting Tuesday, including a new plan for computer networking in the city.

Champaign may build fiber optic communications network (Daily Illini) February 19, 2013

Champaign City Council members will vote on a resolution that would direct city staff to implement a fiber optic communications network for city facilities at its regular meeting Tuesday.

Government must pay to eliminate digital divide (UIC News Center) February 5, 2013

Low-income city residents learn to use broadband through public programs, but they will not get home broadband until it costs less – and government must help make that happen, says a UIC professor who will speak Thursday at a Federal Communications Commission summit in Washington, D.C.

Gigabit Squared renews interest in Champaign-Urbana (News Gazette) February 5, 2013

City officials say Gigabit Squared has renewed its interest in expanding a high-speed, fiber-optic network throughout Champaign-Urbana months after its “competition” for which more than 500 people committed nearly $400,000.

MTC Communications expands ultra high-speed infrastructure in Western Illinois (Broadband Illinois) January 23, 2013

MTC Communications is part of Broadband Illinois’ ongoing “Provider Spotlight” Interview Series. Is a provider of broadband in your region expanding or upgrading? Let us know!

Bill Buchanan leads the Colchester-based MTC Communications team. In addition to providing high-speed internet and other services throughout Western Illinois, MTC is also a Broadband Innovation Fund awardee and Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge applicant.

Evanston wins state high-speed internet grant (Evanston Now) January 18, 2013

Gov. Pat Quinn is scheduled to appear at a news conference in Evanston this morning to announce a $1 million Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge grant to the city and Northwestern University.

Governor announces $1M high-speed Internet grant (Evanston Patch) January 18, 2013

Gov. Pat Quinn appeared in Evanston Friday to announce a $1 million grant to build an ultra-fast internet network in the city, designed to spur business innovation and entrepreneurship.

Community built network to save local jobs in Princeton, IL (Community Broadband Networks) January 4, 2013

Kudos to Richard Downey, Village Administrator for the Village of Kronenwetter in Wisconsin. Mr. Downey reminded us that we have yet to write about the fiber network in Princeton, Illinois. While we have noted Princeton in our list of economic development successes, we haven’t delved into the network that serves the city, the schools, and the business community.


Comm giants respond to Chicago broadband RFI (CED Magazine) November 28, 2012

Chicago may end up succeeding where so many other cities have failed with its plan to build a municipal broadband network. Two dozen communications companies have responded to the city’s request for interest (RFI).

Monticello looks to fiber optic net (News Gazette) November 13, 2012

The laying of fiber optic cable for faster Internet in the next two years is expected to be an economic boon for Monticello, and Piatt County government could be one of the first recipients.

Muni broadband with a twist (CED Magazine) November 1, 2012

Chicago intends to do what no American city even remotely its size has ever pulled off – get a municipal broadband network built.

There isn’t a city in the country that doesn’t want better broadband infrastructure. Several cities, tiring of waiting for the market to create those networks, have attempted to build their own. The biggest ones have all failed, usually for one of two reasons: Some never got beyond the proposal stage, blocked by commercial interests complaining about the competition; of the few that actually got built, most were unable to monetize their networks.

Gigabit Squared plans fiber broadband for Chicago’s south side (Tech News and Analysis) October 16, 2012

Chicago will become the first city to receive a fiber network as part of Gigabit Squared’s college town connectivity program. The Windy City may not be your classic college town, but the University of Chicago’s south side neighborhood makes an interesting testbed for the technology.

Illinois launches gigabit broadband initiative for mid-South Chicago neighborhoods (Civ Source) October 16, 2012

Gigabit Squared, a US-based municipal broadband provider has received an Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge award. Through the award the state will invest $2 million will help support Gigabit Squared’s nationally renowned Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program (GNGP) and the company will deploy gigabit fiber and wireless in Chicago’s Mid-South Side.The announcement comes on the heels of acitywide wi-fi initiative launched by Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago.

Chicago municipal wi-fi (Heartland Institute) October 12, 2012

The City of Chicago recently unveiled plans to create a municipal wi-fi system allowing free access to high-speed wireless Internet services. Initially, the system would serve only certain areas of the city, including downtown and the Loop. Eventually, it would be expanded to bring wireless access to underserved areas of the city.

How to build the most connected city in the world (Forbes) September 28, 2012

Chicago just put out the call for private companies to bring new ideas, to collaborate in building the most well connected city in the world. The goal is significant expansion of already robust fiber optic networks to more corners of the city, and additional services for some under served communities.

Chicago plans to make city a hub for high-speed Internet service (Los Angeles Times) September 27, 2012

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled an ambitious plan to establish the city as a hub for ultra-fast Internet service and provide free Internet access in public spaces. The city kicked off its Chicago Broadband Challenge by turning on free Wi-Fi in Millennium Park on Monday.

Chicago mayor targets affordable gigabit broadband, free WiFi throughout city parks (Engadget) September 25, 2012If Rahm Emanuel has his way, then Chicago’s broadband access may very well give Kansas City a run for its money. The mayor of the Windy City has now revealed a rather ambitious initiative that would (ideally) overhaul the city’s broadband infrastructure and provide affordable, gigabit-class fiber internet to areas that primarily serve industry, higher education and entrepreneurial startups. The idea came to Emanuel through Eric Schmidt, who suggested the upgrade be coordinated alongside the city’s overhaul of its aging water / sewer system. Before any of this can happen, however, Chicago must first secure commitments from companies that would be willing to install and pay for the new upgrades. As a potential incentive, it’s been suggested by Crain’s Chicago Business that the city may offer some of its own unused fiber resources on a favorable lease.Big-city wi-fi efforts so far have failed to make a connection (Chicago Sun-Times) September 24, 2012Experts say cities have left behind a trail of failed efforts to extend broadband and faster wireless services to under-served neighborhoods, and they don’t expect Chicago’s revived initiative to fare any better.City plans free Wi-Fi in all parks, public spaces (Chicago Tribune) September 24, 2012Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled an ambitious plan Monday to establish Chicago as a hub for ultra-fast Internet service and provide free Wi-Fi in public spaces.High-speed broadband project on schedule in nine counties (The Times) August 23, 2012IL: Underground infrastructure work for a high-speed broadband network through Northwest Illinois continues its path along various routes through Ottawa.Rural Illinois still lags in broadband internet access (PJ Star) August 19, 2012High-speed Internet access is a fact of life in most of Illinois, but a luxury that evades some residents in rural communities.Big broadband seeking information on building out network (Champain-Urbana News Gazette) August 18, 2012Officials are seeking information for other ways they might consider expanding a high-speed, fiber-optic network beyond what was allowed under a federal grant.

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