Illinois Electric Cooperative is pleased to announce it has been awarded a $3,443,670 grant through Connect Illinois.
The grant is intended to help fund fiber internet in Hardin, Kampsville, Brussels, Winneberg, and Batchtown in Calhoun County.
For the first round of funding, Connect Illinois awarded $50 million of the $420 million available statewide for broadband expansion under Governor Pritzker’s and Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Rebuild Illinois program. 28 broadband projects by 18 internet service providers, rural cooperatives, nonprofits and local governments were selected from all across the state.
Grant applications were reviewed and evaluated on a competitive basis, with proposals evaluated in seven categories: broadband impact; matching funds; community support; project readiness; project sustainability; broadband adoption assistance; and shared use/open access. Applicants were eligible for up to $5 million per project and they were required to provide a non-state funding match of at least 50 percent. The goal of Connect Illinois is to expand broadband across the entire state with a focus on improving telehealth, education, and economic development.