broadband 081418SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) passed a law to create the Broadband Advisory Council to study expanding broadband access in Illinois.

“Broadband access has become a critical means of access to the world for growth, learning and business,” Holmes said. “This resource is now as necessary as utilities for our communities, and we need to explore all opportunities to expand this critical resource to areas not yet being served.”

 

To ensure the needs of a wide variety of citizens are heard, the council will have representatives from electric cooperatives, municipalities, public housing authorizes, the Community College Board, the Board of Higher Education, the Department of Aging, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, AARP and other organizations representing a wide scope of interests.

The council is charged with several tasks, including:

  • Exploring ways to expand access to broadband
  • Identifying and eliminating barriers to broadband
  • Determining if broadband companies are discriminating against low-income areas
  • Exploring the potential for increased use of broadband for the purposes of education and career readiness
  • Determining the potential benefits from increased broadband service that would allow seniors to live in their own homes longer

“Broadband is a vital resource our entire lives, from our children who are preparing for the workforce to our senior citizens who are trying to maintain comfortable lives in their own homes,” Holmes said. “I look forward to this council’s report to the General Assembly to learn how we can best serve the people of Illinois.”

House Bill 5752 passed the Illinois General Assembly in May and was signed into law Monday. It takes effect immediately.

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