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Below is copy of Illinois broadband extension act (High Speed Internet Services and Information Act) signed into law October 19 by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and effective immediately. Under the Act, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will designate a statewide public-private Nonprofit charitable and educational organization to carry out (1) broadband planning and training at county/regional level, using state of the art broadband mapping, (2) broadband development and deployment projects at local and regional level, and (3) consumer education and demand aggregation activities. Funding comes from re-direction of $4 million in Eliminate the Digital Divide Infrastructure Funds from Illinois Commerce Commission, coming from the Telecom Rewrite Act of 2001, and of which $5 million was invested last fall by ICC in local and regional broadband deployment projects in rural Illinois. The NFP creation strategy is designed to enable Illinois to secure funding down the road under proposed Federal broadband planning legislation now being developed by Senator Durbin, and by parties in U.S. House.
Public Act 095-0684
LRB095 05415 RCE 25505 b
AN ACT concerning State government
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly:
Section 1. Short title.
This Act may be cited as the High Speed Internet Services and Information Technology Act.
Section 5. Findings.
With respect to high speed Internet services and information technology, the General Assembly finds the following:
(1) The deployment and adoption of high speed Internet
services and information technology has resulted in
enhanced economic development and public safety for the
State's communities, improved health care and educational
opportunities, and a better quality of life for the State's
(2) Continued progress in the deployment and adoption
of high speed Internet services and information technology
is vital to ensuring that this State remains competitive
and continues to create business and job growth.
(3) The State must encourage and support the
partnership of the public and private sectors in the
continued growth of high speed Internet and information
technology for the State's residents and businesses.
(4) Local governmental entities play a role in assessing the needs of their communities with respect to high speed Internet services and information technology.
Section 10. Nonprofit organization defined.
In this Act:"Nonprofit organization" means an organization that (i) is
a nonprofit organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of
the federal Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from tax
under Section 501(a) of that Code; (ii) has no part of the net
earnings of which inures to the benefit of any member, founder,
contributor, or individual; (iii) is organized under, subject
to, and has all the powers and duties of a not-for-profit
corporation under the General Not For Profit Corporation Act of
1986; (iv) has statewide representation; and (v) has a board of
directors that is not composed of a majority of individuals who
are also employed by, or otherwise associated with, any
federal, State, or local government or agency. "Department" means the Department of Commerce and Economic
Section 15. Enlistment of a nonprofit organization.
(a) Notwithstanding any other statute, the Department of
Commerce and Economic Opportunity shall enlist a nonprofit
organization to implement a comprehensive, statewide high
speed Internet deployment strategy and demand creation
initiative with the purpose of:
(1) ensuring that all State residents and businesses have access to affordable and reliable high speed Internet service;
(2) achieving improved technology literacy, increased computer ownership, and home high speed Internet use among State residents and businesses;
(3) establishing and empowering local technology planning teams in each county to plan for improved technology use across multiple community sectors; and
(4) establishing and sustaining an environment ripe for high speed Internet access and technology investment statewide.
(b) The nonprofit organization shall have an established
competency and proven record of working with public and private
sectors to accomplish wide-scale deployment and adoption of broadband and information technology in Illinois.
(c) The Department shall adopt rules regarding the enlistment of a nonprofit organization.
Section 20. Duties of the enlisted nonprofit organization.
(a) The high speed Internet deployment strategy and demand
creation initiative to be performed by the nonprofit
organization shall include, but not be limited to, the
(1) Create a geographic statewide inventory of high speed Internet service and other relevant broadband and information technology services. The inventory shall:
(A) identify geographic gaps in high speed
Internet service through a method of GIS mapping of service availability and GIS analysis at the census block level; and
(B) provide a baseline assessment of statewide high speed Internet deployment in terms of percentage
of Illinois households with high speed Internet availability.
(2) Track and identify, through customer interviews
and surveys and other publicly available sources,
statewide residential and business adoption of high speed
Internet, computers, and related information technology and any barriers to adoption.
(3) Build and facilitate in each county or designated
region a local technology planning team with members
representing a cross section of the community, including,
but not limited to, representatives of business, K-12
education, health care, libraries, higher education,
community-based organizations, local government, tourism,
parks and recreation, and agriculture. Each team shall
benchmark technology use across relevant community
sectors, set goals for improved technology use within each
sector, and develop a plan for achieving its goals, with
specific recommendations for online application
development and demand creation.
(4) Collaborate with high speed Internet providers and technology companies to encourage deployment and use,
especially in underserved areas, by aggregating local
demand, mapping analysis, and creating market intelligence
to improve the business case for providers to deploy.
(5) Collaborate with the Department in developing a
program to increase computer ownership and broadband
access for disenfranchised populations across the State. The program may include grants to local community technology centers that provide technology training,
promote computer ownership, and increase broadband access.
(b) The nonprofit organization may apply for federal grants
consistent with the objectives of this Act.
(c) The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
shall use the funds in the High Speed Internet Services and
Information Technology Fund to (1) provide grants to the
nonprofit organization enlisted under this Act and (2) for any
costs incurred by the Department to administer this Act.
(d) The nonprofit organization shall have the power to
obtain or to raise funds other than the grants received from
the Department under this Act.
(e) The nonprofit organization and its Board of Directors
shall exist separately and independently from the Department
and any other governmental entity, but shall cooperate with
other public or private entities it deems appropriate in
carrying out its duties.
(f) Notwithstanding anything in this Act or any other Act to the contrary, any information that is designated
confidential or proprietary by an entity providing the
information to the nonprofit organization or any other entity
to accomplish the objectives of this Act shall be deemed
confidential, proprietary, and a trade secret and treated by
the nonprofit organization or anyone else possessing the
information as such and shall not be disclosed.
(g) The nonprofit organization shall provide a report to
the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability on
an annual basis for the first 3 complete State fiscal years
following its enlistment.
Section 25. Scope of authority.
Nothing in this Act shall
be construed as giving the Department of Commerce and Economic
Opportunity, the nonprofit organization, or other entities any
additional authority, regulatory or otherwise, over providers
of telecommunications, broadband, and information technology.
Section 30. High Speed Internet Services and Information
(a) There is created in the State treasury a special fund
to be known as the High Speed Internet Services and Information
Technology Fund, to be used, subject to appropriation, by the
Department of Commerce and Economic Development for purposes of providing grants to the nonprofit organization enlisted under this Act.
(b) On the effective date of this Act, $4,000,000 in the
Digital Divide Elimination Infrastructure Fund shall be
transferred to the High Speed Internet Services and Information
Technology Fund. Nothing contained in this subsection (b) shall
affect the validity of grants issued with moneys from the
Digital Divide Elimination Infrastructure Fund before June 30,
Section 35. Local broadband projects.
Any municipality or
county may undertake local broadband projects and the provision
of services in connection therewith; may lease infrastructure
that it owns or controls; may aggregate customers or demand for
broadband services; may apply for and receive funds or
technical assistance to undertake such projects to address the
level of broadband access available to its businesses and
residents. To the extent that it seeks to serve as a retail
provider of telecommunications services, the municipality or
county shall be required to obtain appropriate certification
from the Illinois Commerce Commission as a telecommunications
Section 90. The State Finance Act is amended by adding
Section 5.675 as follows:
(30 ILCS 105/5.675 new)
Sec. 5.675. The High Speed Internet Services and Information Technology Fund.
Section 99. Effective date.
This Act takes effect upon becoming law. Effective Date: 10/19/2007