Senator Joyce advocates rural high-speed internet access – Southern Daily


Senator Joyce advocates for rural high-speed internet access (KANKAKEE, Ill.) – To provide all Illinois residents with access to high-speed internet, State Senator Patrick Joyce is taking a role in ensuring federal funds from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program are used Play an important role and be efficient.

“In today’s digital age, access to high-speed internet is not just a luxury, it’s a necessity,” said Joyce (D-Essex). “From education to health care to economic opportunity, reliable internet access is critical for all communities, even rural areas.”

The Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Act of 2021 includes $42.45 billion for the BEAD program, designed to connect all American homes, small businesses and community anchors to high-speed internet. Approximately $1 billion in BEAD funds have been allocated to Illinois to provide Internet access to approximately 230,000 entities in the state who do not have access to at least 100/20 Mbps service or 1/1 Gbps service.

Joyce remains instrumental in ensuring Illinois residents, especially those in underserved areas, have access to fast internet. In 2022, he championed a measure that would allow the public to provide input on how broadband funding should best be allocated.

Last month, Illinois launched the BEAD Map Challenge process. By testing internet speeds, Illinoisans have the opportunity to correct inaccuracies in the state’s broadband map so it reflects the latest broadband access across the state. The updated map will determine which sites are eligible for funding through the BEAD program.

“It’s hard for our rural and agricultural communities to get the same internet connectivity as more populated areas,” Joyce said. “I urge communities with unstable internet to participate in the map challenge phase before Monday’s deadline so that we have the opportunity to give every community quick access.”

To participate in this phase, nonprofits, local government units, and Internet service providers can submit challenges using the BEAD Challenge Portal, and residents can participate through can be submitted by 11:59pm today, March 18th

Senator Joyce advocates for rural high-speed internet access

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