March 6, 2023

URBANA – The Illinois Broadband Lab, a collaboration between the Illinois Office of Broadband and University of Illinois System, invites residents and local organizations in southwestern Illinois to in-person listening sessions at Kaskaskia College on March 15 and the SIUE East St. Louis Center on March 16. The events will give the public a forum for asking questions and providing input about the region’s most urgent needs and priorities related to high-speed internet connectivity and access.

In partnership with the Southwestern Illinois Broadband Regional Engagement for Adoption + Digital Equity (READY) team from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the Illinois Broadband Lab will host the following events for the southwestern Illinois region:

  • Listening sessions with residents and local organizations
    • March 15 – 2-3:30 p.m. – Kaskaskia College Health & Business Building Auditorium, 27210 College Rd, Centralia, IL 62801
    • March 16 – 2-3:30 p.m. – Wyvetter H. Younge Higher Education Campus, SIUE East St. Louis Center, Building D Multipurpose Room, 601 James R. Thompson Blvd., East St. Louis, IL 62201

The community events are one way that Illinois residents can contribute to the state’s plan to invest federal funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) and Digital Equity (DE) programs.

To ensure that federal BEAD and digital equity funding addresses demonstrated barriers and needs – for instance, the 285,000-plus Illinois households without physical access to basic internet service and the over 1.1 million Illinois residents without the devices and skills to use the internet – the Illinois Broadband Lab will work with a wide range of community organizations, local governments, and broadband stakeholders to gather critical input.