telehealth 102020CHICAGO — Applications for a second round of grants to expand broadband in underserved communities was recently announced, and State Senator Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) is encouraging any group eligible to apply. 

"Lack of quality broadband access continues to severely affect families across the state,” Munoz said. “People depend on vital services to keep them connected by virtual means during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as e-learning, telehealth care services and connecting with family and friends.”

The eligibility requirements for the second round of funding are largely the same as the previous round. However, the administration has introduced a new exemption allowing a lower non-state match for project proposals concerning economically distressed communities in an effort to allow underserved areas to be competitive when applying for critical infrastructure dollars.

Eligible applicants for the second round include internet service providers, rural cooperatives, nonprofits and local governments. Recipients may receive up to $5 million per project in matching funds. All Connect Illinois projects must meet the minority business participation requirements of the State of Illinois' Business Enterprise Program. Applications will be accepted until the end of February 2021.

“This grant is a step toward closing another gap of inequities in our state,” Munoz said. “I would like to extend my thanks to Governor Pritzker for his partnership with Connect Illinois to ensure Illinoisans receive the services they are dependent on.”

For more information on the broadband expansion grant and to view the application, please visit the Connect Illinois page