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NATOA Congratulates First Two Winners of Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge

October 17, 2012 12:09 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 17, 2012 - The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) congratulates Gigabit Squared and OnLight Aurora as the first two recipients of the Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge, a statewide competition launched by Governor Pat Quinn providing funding to the most promising ultra high-speed broadband deployment projects. Gigabit Squared, in partnership with Cook County, the city of Chicago and the University of Chicago will receive $2 million in Illinois Jobs Now! capital funding to deploy gigabit fiber and wireless in mid-south Chicago neighborhoods. OnLight Aurora will receive $1 million to help connect education, business and healthcare communities to Aurora’s fiber optic network and accelerate economic growth and job creation.

“NATOA congratulates the City of Aurora and our longtime member Mayor Tom Weisner, as well as one of our newest members, Gigabit Squared, on receiving the Illinois Gigabit grants — and on their efforts to bring the benefits of next generation broadband to Illinois communities,” noted NATOA President Joanne Hovis. “Their projects demonstrate how local collaboration between public and private sectors can build communications networks for the future of American communities.”

The Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge sought proposals from private and public statewide organizations as part of Governor Quinn’s effort to accelerate innovation and job growth in Illinois. The challenge received over 40 applications from communities across Illinois with viable plans to connect at least 1,000 end users to an ultra high-speed broadband network. These two organizations are the first in a series of award recipients that will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information on the Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge, visit