Build Better Broadband
Makanda Township, IL: Township Board of Trustees
Makanda Township is one of 6 grantees of the Build Better Broadband (BBB) program, formed in partnership with EntryPoint and Biarri Networks to fund planning grants in diverse, low-income, and historically underserved communities where municipal networks, community networks, or social enterprises can expand affordable, reliable connectivity.
Learn more about the BBB program and all grant recipients.
Building Better Broadband in Makanda Township
Makanda is a rural community of around 2,000 residents in Jackson County in southern Illinois. For too long residents have struggled with unreliable internet connections and paid too much for service. The pandemic shone a light on the problem as poor connectivity prevented school students from being able to learn from home and remote work was a non-starter for most people in the community.
To meet this challenge, the Makanda Township Board of Trustees created a committee to improve broadband connectivity for the area. After assessing Makanda’s broadband gaps and residents’ needs, the committee found that the providers they approached were uninterested in expanding into the township, focusing instead on higher population density areas. This grant will help Makanda explore alternative options for building and funding a sustainable community network that provides residents with the affordable, reliable, fast internet they need.
Michael Holub, Makanda Township Trustee said: “10 years ago, the lack of reliable internet access in Makanda was frustrating for residents. Now, with each day that goes past, our entire community is being held back as the world becomes more digital around us. So we’re going to build it ourselves. No telco is going to come and connect our homes — but there are other ways to get broadband built and this grant is helping us figure out how we bring fast, affordable internet to Makanda. This isn’t just building a network, it’s building for the future of our community”
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