Quinn to announce high speed access award
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced a $1 million state investment to help Evanston have ultra-high speed Internet as an Illinois Gigabit Community during a press conference library in Evanston on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013. In the background a
Updated: January 22, 2013 10:16AM
EVANSTON — Gov. Pat Quinn is scheduled to appear Friday in Evanston to announce that the city will be the next recipient of an Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge award, designed to bring ultra-fast high speed broadband to neighborhoods, the Review has learned.
City officials have scheduled a 10:30 a.m. press conference at The Mighty Twig, 900 Chicago Ave., where Quinn, Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro, and community representatives are expected to attend.
A representative of Quinn’s office confirmed his appearance.
The city and the university submitted a joint application to be considered for the award last year. Their application was one of 40 the governor’s office received from communities across Illinois.
Northwestern University has been key because of the university’s fiber optics network. Under the grant, the network would be extended to the Chicago Main neighborhood, where the city is attempting to attract developers to construct an office building that would attract high tech users.
So far, Quinn’s office has announced two Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge winners.
In October of last year, Quinn announced that the state was awarding $2 million in Illinois capitol funding to “Gigabit Squared,” which in partnership with Cook County, the city of Chicago and the University of Chicago, to deploy gigabit fiber and wireless in neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side.
The city of Aurora was the second award winner, with $1 million to go to OnLight Aurora to connect the city of Aurora’s fiber optic network.
Greater access to Wi-Fi citywide is included in the top 10 ideas adopted by Evanston 150, in its goals for 2013, Evanston’s 150th anniversary year.
The city teamed with Northwestern, and other partners several years ago, to be considered for Google’s pilot fiber network, which promised to deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to.