Originally published: July 11, 2012
Last updated: July 11, 2012 - 7:00pm
City officials in Champaign and Urbana (IL) want residents and businesses to vote with their checkbooks to bring expanded broadband service to the area.
They announced that a competition has opened pitting Champaign-Urbana against 36 other research university communities to bring in low-cost, high-speed Internet infrastructure. Six cities will be chosen as locations where private supplier Gigabit Squared will invest in fiber optic hookups directly to homes and businesses. Officials say it's a step that would enhance Champaign-Urbana's burgeoning Big Broadband initiative, for which a $22.5 million federal grant is helping to hook up residents in underserved areas and community institutions like schools, churches and city facilities with high-speed Internet. "There's just one problem," said Urbana Alderman Brandon Bowersox-Johnson. "It only connects about 10 percent of the community."
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