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Broadband READY

​A collaborative effort between the Illinois Office of Broadband and the Illinois Innovation Network, Broadband Regional Engagement for Adoption + Digital Equity (READY) grants are provided to qualified regional entities statewide to explore opportunities for equitable advances in the areas of broadband access, adoption, and utilization. The program is designed to identify current digital inequities as well as next steps in creating a digital inclusion ecosystem through regional collaboration among community and economic-development organizations, educators, local leaders, and other related stakeholders, and it seeks to provide scalable solutions for broadband utilization across all 10 Illinois economic development regions—including pressing current needs such as telehealth and remote learning. The program was designed as a forerunner to provisions included in the Digital Equity Act, signed into law as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and serves as a foundation for Office of Broadband work in Digital Equity + Inclusion.

Cohort 1 activity took place in the following regions throughout 2021:

  • East Central | University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign
  • Northern Stateline | Region 1 Economic Development Council
  • Southeast | Eastern Illinois University
  • South | Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Cohort 2 activity is taking place throughout 2022 in the following regions:

  • Central | University of Illinois Springfield
  • North Central | Bloomington-Normal EDC
  • Northeast | Chicago State University
  • Northwest | Northern Illinois University
  • Southwest | Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • West Central | Western Illinois University