- Benton Institute for Broadband & Society will organize and deliver the program sessions and guidecommunity planning
- University of Illinois Extension provides essential expertise on community survey implementation andreporting as well as meeting logistics
- Illinois State University provides ag-focused maps and data on increased soy and corn production potential and telecommunications tower sites
- The Illinois Office of Broadband and the University of Illinois Broadband Lab provide detailed broadband mapping support and a program liaison for each participating community
Eligibility, Priority Counties, and Criteria
All rural counties are eligible to apply for Broadband Breakthrough. We will select ten rural counties to participate with fall and winter cohorts of five communities each. Applicants can propose regional or multi-
county approaches but note that the larger geography and stakeholder numbers can limit effective planning. It is recommended that adjacent counes apply individually and then collaborate as makes sense.
Illinois Soybean Association, as primary program funder, has identified soy-intensive counties as a priority. Those counties are: Bureau, Christian, Clinton, Fulton, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, LaSalle, Livington, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Marion, Montgomery, Shelby, Vermillion, Warren, Washington, and Wayne. Non-priority counties will be considered as capacity allows.
The most important factor in the selection process is the demonstrated strength of the team and members’ commitment to participate regularly in weekly cohort meetings. Team members should be comprised of leaders from local government, the agricultural sector, anchor institutions, economic development agencies, and more.
Please submit the following information to Bill Coleman at email@example.com. It is our goal to select the ten communities for the fall and winter cohorts through this single application process.