Frontier Communications Helps Propel Carbondale into Gigabit City Status

  • ConnectSI
  • Frontier Communications
  • Next Century Cities
  • The Partnership for a Connected Illinois
CARBONDALE, IL — Using state grant funds and partnering with the city of Carbondale, Southern Illinois University (SIU), The Partnership for a Connected Illinois, and ConnectSI, Frontier Communications has completed installation of the first phase of a new, more reliable and faster Internet network that enhances Carbondale’s ability to compete on a global scale.

This Next Generation network is 50 times faster than what is currently available, making Carbondale the Southern Illinois region’s first Gigabit City. The distinction enhances Carbondale’s ability to spur high-tech job growth, develop 21st century technologies, and compete globally in attracting new jobs and people to the region. “This is a very significant upgrade that allows customers to download 1000MB of data in seconds instead of minutes, take advantage of the Cloud to help lower hardware and application costs, and support dozens of online devices at the same time” said Eric Shadley, general manager for Frontier.

Connecting with other Gigabit Cities
Leveraging its new status as a gigabit city, Carbondale recently joined Next Century Cities, a national consortium of gigabit cities that are committed to strengthening communities nationwide to prosper and compete in the 21st century. Mayor Don Monty states that “Next Century Cities is an ideal platform for Carbondale to connect with other communities that share our enthusiasm in developing 21st century technologies. Our ability to innovate and develop fiber technology will enhance our connectivity and economic competitiveness while also providing a unique quality of life amenity for our residents.”

As a result of Frontier’s Gigabit Network, plans are underway that include Carbondale’s participation in a competitive grant opportunity from Frontier, DISH Network and CoBank called America’s Best Communities Competition and to develop a new, robust downtown Wi-Fi system. Each of these initiatives compliments the recent work of Carbondale’s Downtown Advisory Committee to lead a revitalization plan of downtown. Partnerships with SIU scholars will allow Carbondale to leverage economic benefits through commercialized research and cutting-edge innovation. In addition, new businesses created at the SIU Research Park will now have Internet speeds equal to start-up hubs in Chicago, St. Louis, and other major cities, enabling entrepreneurs to transfer and collect data faster than ever.

“Collaboration between the City of Carbondale, Southern Illinois University and Frontier, along with support from the Governor’s office, made this opportunity possible and it is exactly those kinds of partnerships that will move the economies of Carbondale and Southern Illinois forward.” said Steven Mitchell, with The Partnership for a Connected Illinois and ConnectSI. “In addition to the potential economic benefits, there is also a significant potential to enhance access to healthcare. We are extremely proud to have been able to be part of this process”.


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