Calhoun residents now in the fast-lane of the information superhighway
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By Cynthia Haggitt
On Saturday, Dec. 11, Calhoun Fiber held an in-person sign up event at Christmas in Calhoun in Hardin. The Calhoun Fiber team representatives were available that day to answer questions about their service.
“Today is about talking to residents and educating them about how they can improve their internet and phone services through Calhoun Fiber. We want Calhoun to have a fast, reliable connection. We have 100 megabit speed which will give people a better quality and faster connection to their phone and internet,” Illinois Electric Cooperative General Manager Randy Long said.
Back in July, residents and businesses in Brussels Illinois Electric Cooperative held a groundbreaking for the construction of the fiber optic internet network. Part of the funding for Brussels’ fiber optic network is through the Connect Illinois grant program.
The Illinois Electric Cooperative was awarded $3,443,670 in the first round of funding for broadband expansion under Governor Pritzker’s and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Rebuild Illinois program. There are currently 28 broadband projects by 18 internet service providers, rural cooperatives, nonprofits and local governments that were selected in the first round from all across the state.
Grant applications were reviewed and evaluated on a competitive basis, with proposals assessed in seven categories: broadband impact, matching funds, community support, project readiness, project sustainability, broadband adoption assistance and shared use/open access.
Applicants were eligible for up to $5 million per project, and they were required to provide a non-state funding match of at least 50%. Connect Illinois aims to expand broadband across the entire state with a focus on improving telehealth, education and economic development.
In Sept. and Oct., Calhoun Fiber worked to install a drop for their Brussels consumers, according to a post on their Facebook page. In Oct., they brought the contractors back for a final round of free construction of the fiber to the houses for Brussels consumers. Along with this, installations began on Sunset Landing and Nolle Hill.
Later in Oct., construction crews began fiber work for Winneberg. They worked on the mainline construction for fiber to the home while simultaneously attempting to meet with everyone living in Winneberg to stake out their location for fiber. They also continued with construction of the mainline between Ridge Road and Winneberg.
The post also said, “We will be contacting those along the route to set up initial appointments for staking. In Nov., plans for Hardin construction blueprints were out for a bid. Once the bid is awarded, we will announce a timeline for Hardin fiber construction.”
It has been long mentioned that their crews and contractor crews continue to work hard to make high-speed, reliable fiber internet a reality for the county.
“The company has been actively involved in this multi-year project where we will be running 421 miles of fiber optic cable throughout the county,” Long said. “Each and every day we are closer to that goal.”
For more information, visit www.calhounfiber.com or the Calhoun Fiber Facebook page.