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County Board Approves Funding to Expand Broadband

The Sangamon County Board has approved the allocation of up to $3 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to expand broadband access in the county. This move is part of a broader effort to bridge the digital divide and ensure that all county residents have reliable access to high-speed internet.

According to a previous report presented to the Sangamon County Board, roughly 5,000 homes in the county lack reliable home internet access. This lack of access has a disproportionately negative impact on rural and lower-income areas, where businesses find it difficult to establish operations and employees are not able to work remotely without that access.

Expanded broadband access will not only enhance the quality of life for county residents, but it will also enhance economic opportunities for county businesses. With the use of ARPA funding, private funding, and state grants, the Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance and Finley Engineering will work with the county to establish a process to select broadband providers that will be able to expand broadband coverage in the county.

"Ensuring access to broadband will help grow the economy and provide opportunities for citizens," said Van Meter. "We are excited to move forward with this initiative and make progress towards expanding broadband access in Sangamon County."

The Sangamon County Board has also engaged the Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance to conduct phase 2 of a broadband feasibility study for Sangamon County for an amount not to exceed $39,950. This study will help guide the county's efforts to improve broadband access and bridge the digital divide.


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