$2M funding to increase internet connectivity in Champaign County


Residents of Champaign County will benefit from the addition of high-speed fiber internet service with a grant-funded project.

Champaign County Commissioners have allocated $1 million in funding to address the growing internet needs of county residents. Tim Bolander, President/CEO of Urbana-based independent provider CT Comm, met with the Champaign County Board of Commissioners and Clerk/Administrator Andrea Millice to discuss recent grants the county had received to address underserved areas.

In June 2021, commissioners sought funding opportunities to build out high-speed internet services and improve access, but unfortunately, no funds were granted through these sources.

However, as a result of the ability to utilize federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds toward certain county operations, the commissioners were able to earmark $1 million in County General Funds toward the project.

Underscoring the county’s increased need for reliable services, Millice said, “The pandemic highlighted the importance of the need for greater high-speed internet in our community. The board believes partnering with CT Communications on this project is one avenue that could help enhance that service for some of our county residents.”

Bolander, a longtime supporter of improving access across the state, agreed.

“This is an incredible opportunity for the Thackery and Cable communities to gain access to the type of high-speed fiber internet connection afforded to surrounding areas,” he said. “With this generous grant, the county has shown that they are dedicated to serving everyone in our community and that they are invested in local business.”

CT Comm, with the assistance of Champaign County, will begin the $2 million project to build out fiber connectivity in Thackery and Cable in 2023.

Other funding to county organizations

According to information from the Champaign County Commissioners, Champaign County received approximately $7.5 million in ARPA funds. As it is an eligible expense, the Board is utilizing the ARPA Funds they received to cover General Fund salary expenses. With the General Fund dollars that have been freed up the Board is planning on providing grants for several projects that will benefit the County including a MARCS radio tower to improve radio signal for law enforcement and first responders for $1.2 million; revenue replacement for the Champaign County Engineer for $1.2 million to be used toward road projects; the broadband project with CT Comm for $1 million; expansion of the childcare facility at the YMCA for $1 million; locution software for the 911 center for $200,000; and $90,000 for the Johnny Appleseed Museum.

About CT Communications

CT Comm is a full-service, independently-owned provider for high-speed Internet and phone services. We provide meaningful and useful technology to enhance connections between businesses, individuals, and communities. Since 1898, CT Comm has had the privilege of serving the residential and business communities of central Champaign County, Urbana and the Village of West Liberty, Ohio. Supporting our local customers is our top priority. Visit us at ctcomm.net.

Thackery, Cable areas to benefit from upgrade

Submitted story

Info from CT Comm.

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