Illinois and SNG Announce Partnership

Partnership for a Connected Illinois Announces Partnership with Strategic Networks Group to Drive Meaningful Broadband Use, Innovation, and Economic Development

SNG and the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs Engaged to help Maximize Broadband’s Potential

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, January 4, 2012 – The Partnership for a Connected Illinois , also known through its Broadband Illinois website, today announced further efforts to utilize broadband for driving better learning tools for school children, growing the Sta te’s job base, driving innovation and increasing economic prosperity, and improving health care.

PCI will work in a partnership with Strategic Networks Group (SNG) and the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs in order to maximize the benefit of public and private-sector investments in broadband deployment and use. These investments have the potential to be a transformative investment for Illinois’ 21st century competitiveness.

The PCI initiative includes a state broadband strategy following SNG’s broadband lifecycle, informed by statewide research to measure broadband’s utilization and identify gaps. The result will be a statewide broadband plan preparing Illinois to be a leader in job creation and economic growth, education, medical innovation and quality of life. Another output of the research will be reports to individual organizations to help them understand how they can become more competitive through broadband.

“By developing a statewide broadband strategy for better broadband, we’re creating a future that includes economic opportunities, increased availability of educational tools, and higher-quality health care for Illinois residents,” said Drew Clark, executive director of PCI. “Better broadband means better lives.  Our mission is to make high-speed broadband internet available to residents throughout Illinois.”

In developing a statewide broadband plan, the Partnership for a Connected Illinois is conducting statewide research on behalf of the State of Illinois in order to develop strategies that will position Illinois to be a leader in job creation and economic growth, education, medical innovation and quality of life.

Illinois turned to SNG due to their proven track record with maximizing broadband investment in more than 10 states, and in other regions throughout the world. The solutions that SNG brings to bear will help Illinois ensure that its broadband investment has deep, meaningful, and lasting impacts.

Partnering with SNG in support of this initiative is the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs of Western Illinois University, which will help provide  a statewide approach to accelerate the understanding and meaningful use of broadband for global competitiveness, job creation, and socio-economic impacts.

“Forward-looking governments understand the direct benefits that broadband and e-solutions bring, including increasing competitiveness, productivity, and revenues,” explains Michael Curri, president of SNG. “We’re delighted that Illinois is embracing the process of turning broadband’s potential into a strategy to create jobs, retain and attract businesses, and improve the overall quality of life of its citizens.”

About Partnership for a Connected Illinois (PCI)

PCI, also known for its Broadband Illinois website, is a non-profit entity working on behalf of the State of Illinois.  PCI collects data about broadband availability and works with local providers and communities to make high-speed broadband available throughout the state. PCI is also working to improve the adoption and enhance the impact of broadband in Illinois.  Learn more about PCI at

About Strategic Networks Group

SNG is a group of broadband economists who develop strategies for most effectively leveraging broadband investments. SNG looks to help make the most broad-reaching and transformational impacts that broadband can bring enable businesses, communities and regions by delivering the data and analysis decision makers need to maximize broadband’s potential.   SNG’s goals: economic development, social advancement, increased productivity and competiveness. Learn more about SNG online at and discover how broadband market analytics can accelerate regional economic development.

About the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs

IIRA is a unit of Western Illinois University and has served the people of rural Illinois since 1989. Its mission is “to improve the quality of life for rural residents by partnering with public and private agencies on local development and enhancement efforts.” The IIRA’s 40-member staff delivers on its mission through its research and outreach efforts.

Click to see this announcement on PCI’s website.

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