Broadband—a transmission channel of sufficient capacity to effectively deliver advanced information applications and services via the Internet—is an infrastructure that is critical to the economic development prospects of Illinois cities and rural communities. Although the full extent of the problem is unknown, it is clear that many smaller Illinois towns and rural areas, as well as selected areas within the state’s metropolitan centers, currently lack access to broadband service despite ongoing rollout of digital subscriber line (DSL) and cable modem services by telecommunications companies and cable providers. In some cases, service is available but not affordable. Areas that remain without affordable service cannot be economically competitive. They will have little to no success growing and attracting business activity to replace declines in industries established prior to the Internet era. Isolated rural communities are at particular risk because they lack the option of capturing residential and commercial spillover growth from urban centers. Without an active effort to encourage widespread broadband deployment, Illinois will guarantee the decline of some of its rural communities and increase the shift in the relative distribution of population and business activity to urbanized areas.This report, the result of a project commissioned by the Rural Affairs Council in the Office of Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn, discusses how to accelerate the deployment of broadband in underserved communities in Illinois.
|Place of Publication||Champaign-Urbana, IL|
|Publisher||University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|
- Broadband access, rural development, broadband deployment, digital divide