February-March 2024

2024 Illinois Federal Legislative Update

Every year, changes to federal legislation can have a significant impact on Illinois communities and require careful evaluation to ensure sound fiscal and administrative management of vital programs and resources. Local administrators, civic leaders and business people who aren't aware of the most important legislation coming into force in this new year may learn the hard way about this impact. This annual webinar, hosted by University of Illinois Extension and the National Association of Counties (NACo), will provide attendees with a valuable perspective on these important federal policy updates. This year's 1-hour program will be Thursday, Feb. 29, at 12 pm (CST). For details and registration, visit https://registration.extension.illinois.edu/start/local-government-education-2024-illinois-federal-legislative-update


Importance of High-Speed Internet Highlighted

According to an article in Broadband Communities Magazine, rural connectivity can be a game changer, as was highlighted in findings of a recent survey. The survey, conducted by Cox Communications among consumers that have recently acquired the firm’s high-speed Internet services in under-served locations, has revealed that 86 percent of consumers surveyed reported gaining access to the internet has marked an improvement in their lives. Read more.

Call JULIE Before You Dig

Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall ... No matter the season, iFiber urges you to call 811 before you dig to avoid service disruptions and damage to buried utilities. Every day, from January through December! For more information, visit JULIE.

Illinois Extension Partners Provide Education and Outreach

Illinois Extension’s Local Government Education (LGE) program partners with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Illinois Office of BroadbandIllinois Broadband Lab, and the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society to provide outreach and assistance aimed towards community and county broadband development goals and digital equity.

Some recent topics of interest include:

Keep Up-to-Date via iFiber's website

Stay up-to-date on the latest iFiber

and broadband industry news via iFiber's website.

Broadband Industry News...

iFiber shares Broadband Communities Magazine articles to emphasize the importance of fiber in bridging the digital divide. As a provider of high-speed broadband transport services in Northwest Illinois, iFiber is committed to bridging the digital divide with an Open Access fiber network. iFiber is a not-for-profit organization that offers low-cost solutions for both public and private entities. High-speed broadband is crucial to the future of northwest Illinois communities.

Read more

Important iFiber Information

  • Please don’t work in the cabinet, enclosure, and/or equipment labeled iFiber. This could accidentally cause service interruptions in your location and could impact others as well. Call NIMC at 877-753-8100 or e-mail nimc@niu.edu if you notice damage to the equipment/enclosures, or have questions about anything that looks out of place.
  • Contact sales@ifiber.org and/or your local iFiber Outreach specialist if you are aware of, or are planning, any construction to your building or property. iFiber will investigate and determine if this could impact the connection or equipment. As a reminder, only iFiber contractors are allowed to relocate iFiber cable, enclosures, and equipment.
  • iFiber engineers work to maintain the iFiber equipment remotely. Unless instructed by an iFiber engineer/Outreach specialist, please do not unplug or attempt to connect to any iFiber equipment.
  • If you find that your Internet services are running slow consistently, contact sales@ifiber.org and let us help. iFiber provides your connection to the world via fiber. Individual services (such as Internet or phone service) are via a third party ISP. If anything is partially working (e.g. the Internet works, but is just slow), it’s quickest to start with whoever provides that service. iFiber will always support customer concerns; however, most often there is an issue with the service and not the fiber lines. Fiber is one of the most stable connection types and iFiber is committed to doing a great job managing its services. iFiber also can provide bandwidth reports to show you how your service is used and help you make an informed decision.
  • iFiber is a community-based, not-for-profit organization with an Open Access fiber system in your area. iFiber has low-cost solutions for both public and private entities. High-speed networks are crucial to the future of northwest Illinois communities.
E-Rate Resources

E-Rate is a program of USAC that gives funding to schools and libraries through an open bidding process. USAC, or the Universal Services Administrative Company, is an entity designated by the Federal Communications Commission responsible for administering a roughly $10 billion fund that can be used to pay for Internet connections within impoverished regions, whether rural or urban. In Illinois, CMS has entered into state master contracts with vendors to support ICN customers for their E-rate category 2 purchases. The state has already conducted a competitive bidding process and selected vendors. More details: iFiber website.

Monitoring Center

Northern Illinois Monitoring Center (NIMC) is designed to provide wide-area support for iFiber customers. For urgent issues, please call the NIMC number 1-877-753-8100 to reach a live agent. For non-urgent issues or questions, you are welcome to e-mail NIMC at nimc@niu.edu. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us at sales@ifiber.org.  

Network Administrators: Register your organization's contacts at nimc@niu.edu.  Sign up for e-mail alerts for advance notice about maintenance on the iFiber network or notification of a network down at nimc.niu.edu.

Illinois Fiber
Resources Group

P.O. Box 755, Sycamore IL 60178

(815) 753-8113

E-mail: info@ifiber.org

Web: www.ifiber.org