SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, is working to expand access to high-speed internet access in often-underserved rural communities by passing legislation through the House to help identify and eliminate barriers to broadband adoption Wednesday.
“In more rural areas of our state, broadband availability is not consistent,” said Halpin. “Rural residents have fewer choices of internet providers and pay more for lower quality service, as compared to those living in urban and suburban areas.”
The Halpin-backed House Bill 5752 creates a broadband advisory council within the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to expand access to broadband technologies throughout Illinois. Comprised of 21 voting members, the council will be tasked with exploring ways to bring adequate broadband service to underserved areas and making recommendations to the governor and General Assembly. Halpin’s bill received bipartisan support in the House and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
“Families, small businesses, school districts, hospitals, local governments and other internet consumers depend on reliable, high-quality broadband service every day,” said Halpin. “This legislation will help ensure that this crucial need is met by improving broadband infrastructure statewide.”