Village of Makanda exploring community-owned fiber optic internet, asking for resident input | News

MAKANDA TOWNSHIP, IL — The Connect Makanda Township Committee says for too long, residents and businesses in the community have struggled to keep a reliable internet connection, and they’re paying way too much. That’s why the committee is asking for input from residents as they prepare to overhaul their internet service model.

According to a July release, the committee’s goal is to bring the township’s internet infrastructure “into the present, and on in to the future.”

The committee says internet connectivity is essential to modern life, and fiber optic internet is the foundation of a digital revolution. As a result, they’re exploring “community-owned fiber optic infrastructure.”

Photo courtesy of Enjoy Illinois

In this model, internet connection is though of as a utility, much like gas, power, or water. They say the model is starkly different from the traditional internet service model in the US, which they claim is a closed-system seeking to maximize profit and limit access.

They’ve released an 11-question survey, which should take an estimated 3 minutes to complete, to help them better understand what community members are looking for in internet service. You can find the survey here.

The committee released the following list of goals they hope to accomplish with their project:

  • Lower the cost of internet service by 30% for all residents and businesses
  • Make high-speed fiber optic connections available to every home
  • Significantly increase the reliability and speed of internet access
  • Increase competition by giving residents several service-provider options
  • Build network infrastructure to open up new opportunities for township residents, improve economic development, and foster innovation
  • Use the network to improve public safety, transportation, healthcare, education, emergency communications, and new services
  • Avoid additional tax-burden or taxpayer expenditures

For more information about the committee’s plans for “community owned” fiber optic, visit their website here.

To read more about the unique village of Makanda, click here.


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