GREENE COUNTY - The Greene County Board voted to support the Greene County Broadband Project with the full funding request of $250,000 at its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday.

"This support demonstrates the vision, leadership and commitment of the members of the Greene County Board to provide fiber internet to every household and business in the county," the Greene County Economic Development Group said in an information release. "The Greene County Board recognizes the need for high quality internet access and its benefits to families and businesses in Greene County.

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"This project will enhance and support education, healthcare, business, agriculture, and economic development across the county demonstrating the opportunities for rural Illinois."

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The reason for the project after a survey is that much of the Greene County area has slow internet download speeds of less than 25 megabits a second and more than half of fewer than 5 megabits per second upload speed. A survey showed some with no service whatsoever. The Federal Communications Commission has established a standard for broadband internet speeds a mega 25 bits for downloading and 3 megabits for uploading.

The Greene County Board's commitment provides a foundation for the effort to raise $1.1 million across the county for local support of this project.

"This project will likely cost over $100 million with over 80 percent funded by Frontier and the remainder from Connect Illinois State grants that will be submitted when available," the Greene County Economic Development Group said. "The Greene County Broadband Project team has been in discussion with school, city, village, and township leaders to provide information about this project, answer questions, and gain their support as well.

"In addition, this project is seeking letters of support and financial contributions from corporate entities and private citizens across the county. The project team is very appreciative of the support from the Greene County Board and is hopeful that their leadership will encourage others to engage and support this historic project for Greene County."