State News
3:45 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Broadband network at Illinois State University complete

Governor Pat Quinn is hailing the completion of a regional broadband network anchored at Illinois State University as a major technological and economic step forward.

Quinn returned to ISU's Milner Library, where he launched the initiative four years ago. The $100 million project installed more than a 1,000 miles of high-speed fiber-optic broadband. Quinn says the project put engineers, technicians, splicers, equipment operators and electricians to work. 

“We had to build about a thousand new miles of fiber-optic cable and lay that fiber and trench it. But we also had fiber that was so-called "dark fiber" that wasn't lit up, so altogether it's about 1,800 miles of fiber."

Quinn says hospitals, first responders and schools will benefit across nearly 55 counties. Unit 5 School Superintendent Mark Daniel says the initiative has allowed the district to cut technology expenses in half. 

Quinn says, with the old 10 megabyte connection, it would take a movie ten minutes to download. He says that same movie can now load in 6 seconds over 1 gigabyte of broadband.