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UC2B Signing up Residents and Community Anchor Institutions for State-of-the-Art Broadband Network
Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B) Community Ambassadors are canvassing the community to register the first round of eligible residents, business and community anchor institutions for the new UC2B broadband Internet service. Urbana organizations that will benefit from the network include Urbana School District 116, health care providers, churches, parks and other non-profits.
UC2B will be signing up customers by door-to-door, phone and web contact. The ultra-high-speed Internet service is part of a grant administered by The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), funded by the federal government as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and supported by the City of Champaign, City of Urbana and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2009, the cities and university entered into an intergovernmental agreement to form the UC2B governing body to administer the grant. Construction to build a fiber backbone throughout the community has been underway since fall 2011. Once complete, this network will offer as much as one gigabit of connectivity throughout the community. Gigabit broadband makes Champaign-Urbana one of the best-networked cities in America.
Several Urbana neighborhoods have been identified through the grant process as the first eligible for the low-cost service, with options starting at 20 Mbps for $19.99 per month. In these grant-eligible neighborhoods, residents qualify for service with no installation or equipment costs. The free underground fiber-optic connection is a $3,000 value. The fiber optics not only builds property values and wires these locations for the future, but additionally offers residents and institutions unmatched speed, security and reliability. Providing upload speeds that are equally as fast as download is perfect for 2-way video calls, telecommuting, telemedicine and more.