Gigabit Squared Awarded Broadband Initiative for Mid-South Chicago Neighborhoods

  • Gigabit Squared
WOODLAWN, IL –The state of Illinois announced that Gigabit Squared is the recipient of an Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge award. Illinois’ investment of $2 million will help support Gigabit Squared’s national Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program (GNGP) to create jobs, improve neighborhood safety, enhance education and improve health care services. Gigabit Squared, the architects of next-generation networks, will deploy gigabit fiber and wireless in Chicago’s Mid-South Side.

“Smart communities will foster the job engines of the future," said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. “To win in the information economy, we need information infrastructure that is second to none. Through the Gigabit Communities Challenge, Illinois will build stronger, smarter communities with Internet connections more than 100 times faster than they are today."

The $2 million award from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will be the initial investment for the project. Additional funding includes a commitment from the University of Chicago to contribute $1 million and help bring in another $1 million from the Woodlawn community and other sources, and $5 million from Gigabit Squared’s Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program and its investors. Gigabit Squared will collaborate with the University to initiate a process for sharing information and soliciting input on the project from members of the affected communities.

More Than 200,000 Residents to Benefit
The initiative’s first phase will bring gigabit-speed fiber to over 4,825 residents, businesses, schools and health care institutions, providing opportunities to innovate in the Chicago’s Mid-South neighborhoods. This access will create educational opportunities, streamline government, and foster small business growth. As the project advances, gigabit broadband access will be potentially available to as many as 210,000 residents who live in over 79,000 households, as well as to the 10,000 commercial businesses in the area.

"This public-private investment infrastructure will promote economic development and engender smarter, safer, and digitally empowered community surrounding the University of Chicago," said Mayor Emanuel. "I commend Gigabit Squared for its efforts on behalf of the neighborhood. This project is a great first step toward realizing the goal of the Chicago Broadband Challenge: an open, next-generation network for the entire city."

“When we developed the Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program, it was exactly this type of neighborhood partnership we envisioned,” said Mark Ansboury, president of Gigabit Squared. “Bringing the University of Chicago, the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago and individual neighborhoods, as well as Cook County together, we’re able to do what none of us could do individually – build a platform for economic development and business creation on the Mid-South Side of Chicago.”

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