05222018CM0408SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) passed a proposal through the Illinois Senate to create the Broadband Advisory Council to study expanding broadband access in Illinois.

“Just like electricity and running water, having access to broadband is a critical tool for creating growth in communities and businesses,” Holmes said. “As a state, we need to ensure we are exploring all opportunities available to extend this critical resource to every corner of our state.”

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 several other organizations that represent 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 utilizing the findings of this council to best serve the citizens of our state.”

Holmes’ proposal, House Bill 5752, passed the Illinois Senate today with a vote of 57-0. It has now passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly.

Category: New Releases

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