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CHARLESTON — The Federal Communications Commission is giving more than $600,000 to increase broadband internet speeds in Coles County.

Nationally, the FCC authorized more than $112.2 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to 48,000 unserved rural residences and businesses in nine states. This is the fifth portion in the Connect America Fund Phase II. 

The funding is provided to providers starting this month. 

Statewide in Illinois, the FCC has authorized a total of $64.3 million to date to expand broadband to 22,793 rural homes and businesses.

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“From Effingham to DeKalb, this round of funding from the FCC is helping bring broadband to rural Illinois,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement. “It’s critical that rural communities in Illinois have the same access to digital opportunity that urban areas do. I’m pleased that today’s funding will support broadband to over 6,700 unserved rural homes and businesses in the state.”

Statewide in Illinois, the FCC has authorized a total of $64.3 million to date to expand broadband to 22,793 rural homes and businesses.

“Two of the most important innovations the internet has offered to constituents like mine — distance learning and telemedicine — require abundant network capacity and reliable connections,” Congressman John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, said in a statement. “In rural America, where these services are most in demand, the scarcity of broadband access leaves communities behind. Expanding high-speed internet to unserved and underserved areas makes those services more widely available, and benefits communities by connecting individual families and small businesses alike.”

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