Illinois Schools, Libraries To Get Broadband Boost - Multichannel

Illinois Schools, Libraries To Get Broadband Boost

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On the same day the FCC released a report on the need for faster broadband speeds for schools and libraries,
broadband communications access system provider Calix Inc. says it is about to do just that.

The company on Jan. 6 said it had been tapped by Clearwave Communications to provide boost broadband access to 232 anchor institutions including schools and libraries in Southern Illinois as part of a $45 million project, including a $31.5 million brand from the government's broadband stimulus program, $11.3 million from the state of Illinois, $400,000 in county grants and $2.1 million in private investment.
Clearwave and Calix will provide speeds between 10 Mbps and 1 Gbps to those institutions through a mix of platforms, Calix says that, to date, it has partnered with stimulus fund winners on 21 projects representing $270 million in investment combining government grants, loans, and private investment. All the federal government broadband stimulus grant money also required at least a 20% investment by the applicants, though that could come from other grants, like the state and county grant money cited above.

The federal government set aside more than a billion dollars as part of its stimulus package to boost broadband availability and speeds to public computer center projects, which included schools and libraries, part of a $7 billlion plus allocation to promote broadband deployment, adoption and education.

On Thursday, the FCC released a study showing that a majority of schools and libraries didn't have the speeds they
needed for things like expanded use of e-books and handheld devices.