Standing Up for Illinois - Office of Lt Governor Pat Quinn

Only about 10 percent of rural Americans, and 30 percent of all Americans have access to high-speed Internet connections.

Lt. Governor Pat Quinn is working with municipal leaders and community organizations to bridge the digital divide.

Community Programs

The Center for Neighborhood Technology used a grant from the State of Illinois to install Internet networks and provide targeted technology services to four communities: West Frankfort, Elgin and Chicago’s Pilsen and North Lawndale neighborhoods.

Princeton is a western Illinois community that is on the forefront of broadband access. Using the resources of its municipal electric utility, Princeton recently became the first Illinois community to offer broadband over power lines which uses electric wires to provide high-speed, reliable Internet services.

The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center helps children in the impoverished East St. Louis area achieve their dreams. The Center lacked adequate computer facilities. Lt. Governor Quinn helped the Center acquire surplus state computers.

Another program that deserves attention is ROC-net, based in Rockford, IL. Please click here to find out more.

The Village of Homer, home to about 1,000 Champaign County residents, is using a grant from the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council to build a local wireless hot zone in the downtown area. The Village eventually plans to make the entire village a hot zone.

Aurora is the second largest city in Illinois and about to become the first Illinois community to offer free wireless access to all of its citizens. This 42-square mile hot zone will also improve voice and data communications ability for municipal emergency personnel and field workers.

Send Lt. Governor Quinn your stories about innovative community technology programs.

Wireless Main Street

Illinois Main Street is one of the state’s best programs for promoting economic development in historic business districts. Lt. Governor Quinn is helping bridge the digital divide by providing Wireless Main Street grants to enhance Internet access in Main Street communities.

Mt. Vernon is using a grant from the Rural Affairs Council, chaired by Lt. Governor Quinn, to boost tourism, education and economic development in its downtown area. Quincy is using their Wireless Main Street grant to build a network to service visitors, business owners and even boaters on the Mississippi River.

Belleville is using Wireless Main Street funds to build a community wireless network. Once completed, this network will serve residents and businesses in a 48-square block area, including the central business district and several downtown parks.

Carbondale Main Street and the City of Carbondale Information Systems Division are creating a 30-block hotspot to include a hospital, library, City Hall and Civic Center. The more than 5,500 people who go to downtown Carbondale for work and play each day will now have high-speed internet connectivity. This network will compliment the wireless services available on the Southern Illinois University campus.

For more information about the Illinois Main Street communities including lists of local WiFi hotspots, please visit