A planned expansion of the broadband connection in Illinois will create thousands of jobs, raise worker’s pay, and help overcome rural-urban and racial inequalities in online access.

The Researchers from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle-Class Renewal at the University of Illinois have revealed the project would be a massive boost to workers in the state.

The investment will increase the state’s labor income by $843 million per year and generate around 25,000 permanent and temporary employment.


Robert Bruno,director of the Project for Middle Class Renewal, said: “I can’t think of something that is so universally beneficial to everybody, that touches every corner of the state.”

During the construction phase, employment will be created in the supply and construction industries, as well as jobs in retail, restaurants, and other small enterprises.

Within four years of completion, the expansion will produce enough tax income to cover the state’s investment.

By 2026, federal and state investments are planned to link 238,000 homes, farms, and businesses to broadband.

In 2019, 83 percent of Illinois citizens had a broadband Internet connection.

The financing for the internet expansion comes from the state’s $400 million Rebuild Illinois infrastructure initiative, which was established in 2019, as well as the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law last year.

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When the investment raises employees’ earnings, they will spend more on their local economies.

The researchers estimate that the state will receive around $1 billion in financing for broadband development by 2025.

The expansion will also assist to bridge Illinois’ digital divide, which is divided along racial and geographic lines.

By boosting access to telemedicine, it is intended that the internet expansion would assist rural areas of Illinois recruit and retaining health care employees.

Despite record levels of investment, the scientists found that 13 percent of people in Illinois people will still lack internet 2026.

Source: Governing

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