On August 29 Sauk Valley Community College held the groundbreaking ceremony for the Illinois Fiber Resources Group (iFiber) who will use the campus as the starting point to build a new fiber broadband network that will affect more than 500 community institution as well as 280,000 households and 16,000 businesses within nine counties.
This new 900 mile network, funded by a $68.5 million NTIA BTOP grant, will increase speed and accessibility to technology services within not-for-profit institutions such as community colleges, K-12 schools, universities, healthcare facilities, libraries and government facilities. By creating these improvements, the network will enhance broadband Internet, video and voice services to businesses and households as well.
Not only will this network improve broadband, it offers many new job opportunities. The State of Illinois Chief of Staff Ryan Croke mentioned that one thing important to everyone today in the state is jobs. The network will open job opportunities for building and maintenance of the fiber network and its services in the coming years.
The ceremony was well attended with the support of SVCC and government officials such as Representative Jerry Mitchell and Senator Christine Johnson. Representatives from all groups of iFiber were also present including Northern Illinois University, Blackhawk Hills RC&D, the City of Rockford, Boone County and LaSalle County.
For more information on iFiber and the fiber network project, visit www.iFiber.org. Also visit SVCC Facebook to view photos of the ceremony.