URBANA – The Illinois Broadband Lab, a collaboration between the Illinois Office of Broadband and University of Illinois System, invites residents and local organizations in southeastern Illinois to an in-person listening session at the Effingham County U of I Extension office on March 22. The event 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 Southeastern Illinois Broadband Regional Engagement for Adoption + Digital Equity (READY) team led by Eastern Illinois University, the Illinois Broadband Lab will host the following event for the southeastern Illinois region:
- Listening session with residents and local organizations
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.