Broadband Breakthrough2023-03-31T18:18:35+00:00

Broadband Breakthrough

About the Project

Project Broadband Breakthrough is led by ISA and the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, with funding provided by the United Soybean Board. Program collaborators include the Center for Rural Strategies, the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s Office of Broadband, the University of Illinois Extension, the University of Illinois Broadband Lab, the Illinois Innovation Network, Illinois State University, and the Wireless Research Center.

In the initial launch of this program, the teams are collaborating with community members in Schuyler, Edgar, Ogle, Hancock, and McLean Counties.

Program leaders are educating community team members how to get involved, providing guidance to develop their plan and submit a proposal to provide reliable and affordable broadband access to every citizen in their receptive counties.

The five cohorts are building their county broadband proposals through research by identifying and contacting broadband providers that service other areas of their county, as well as designing and deploying countywide broadband surveys.

Broadband Benefits


Farmers with Broadband access:

  • Experience improved decision-making and planning when it comes to production and market coordination
  • Allow essential access to commodity market information
  • Enable constant communication with customers and resource providers
  • Have access to new markets for their products around the world
Precision Agriculture2023-03-28T19:29:14+00:00

Broadband Access:

  • Plays a large and critical role in precision agriculture
  • Enables farmers to have access to digital tools and modern data analytics
  • Leads to scientific breakthroughs and technological advancements from farm to fork
  • Improves agricultural productivity, efficiency and sustainability

Students with High-Speed Internet Access at Home:

  • Have more applied digital skills and capabilities that can lead to future careers in innovation and more
  • Can enhance their academic performance by being able to access information relevant to assignments and projects
  • Have higher test scores and grade point averages
  • Can achieve higher levels of education through online educational institutions, programs, and universities

Access to a Reliable Internet Connection Allows:

  • Senior citizens and other rural residents to have a virtual telehealth appointment rather than traveling
  • Rural healthcare providers to consult with experts worldwide, giving patients better healthcare services
  • Rural healthcare providers to easily refer patients and their records to specialists
  • Enables providers to send prescriptions and orders for additional lab work and tests in a timely manner
Revitalizing Rural Communities2023-03-28T19:46:06+00:00

Increasing Broadband Infrastructure Access and Usage Leads to:

  • Higher property values
  • Higher rates of new business formation, job creation and lower unemployment rates
  • Population growth
  • A better quality of life for citizens of rural communities
Economic Impact2023-03-28T19:48:17+00:00

Increasing Rural Broadband Installation Infrastructure Results in:

  • A three to four-fold return on investment
  • State and local governments’ cost savings on medical expenditures
  • Additional tax revenues from increased incomes
  • Bolstering remote work, e-commerce, online services, and data centers scaling up in communities
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