iTV-3 to Build Gigabit Fiber Network In Urbana-Champaign

  • iTV-3
URBANA, IL — The first Urbana-Champaign residents will soon be connected to some of the fastest Internet speeds in the country. Local broadband provider iTV-3 today announced construction and expansion of the Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B) network, a not-for-profit organization created by the cities of Urbana and Champaign and the University of Illinois to oversee the UC2B fiber optic network throughout the community.

iTV-3, an ISP, and has provided fiber-based services since 2009 will begin construction in the first Urbana neighborhood located around Pennsylvania Ave. and Vine St. in Urbana. This neighborhood was the first to reach the needed 50 percent of sign-ups in order for iTV-3 to expand.

Want to ensure your neighborhood is the next to be connected? All Urbana-Champaign neighborhoods are encouraged to continue signing up at The Perfect Upgrade. A frequently-updated neighborhood status map is available on the website with the numbers of sign-ups needed in each neighborhood. The expansion is driven by demand and iTV-3 will provide service in sectors where at least 50 percent of residents request service.

“We are excited to begin construction on the first neighborhood in Urbana-Champaign. The enthusiasm for getting iTV-3 fiber optic Internet from the residents of this neighborhood was tremendous,” said Levi Dinkla, vice president at iTV-3. “We are already seeing the effects of that enthusiasm on other neighborhoods as more and more people sign up. When we partnered with UC2B our vision was to bring gigabit fiber-optic speeds to every home and business in the community. Today’s announcement is yet another step toward achieving that vision. We look forward to getting many more neighborhoods to the necessary interest level over the next few months and a very busy construction season in 2015.”

iTV-3 and the UC2B not-for-profit board announced their partnership in May. iTV-3 will operate and expand the UC2B network, enabling Urbana-Champaign to be one of the few communities in the U.S. with gigabit fiber-optic Internet.

University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise applauded the innovative public-private partnership between UC2B and iTV-3. “This is another great step forward in bringing new levels of high speed broadband access to the campus and local communities. This is exactly what we envisioned when iTV-3 was chosen as the UC2B partner and we’re all excited to see it taking shape so quickly.”

Spurring Innovation

University of Illinois CIO Mark Henderson acknowledged the network’s ability to spur innovation in the University and surrounding community. “Gigabit access provided via this network enables innovation, including high-speed access to medical, educational, and social resources for our community. Broadband access can also serve as a cornerstone for economic development. Having broadband assets can attract start-ups and other businesses to our region. Further, this network is a slice of a nationwide innovation platform where gigabit applications can be developed through programs like US Ignite and GigU.”

Leading the Bridging of the Digital Divide

Champaign Mayor Don Gerard recognized the national impact of this announcement. “With the net neutrality debate coming to a head on the national level, I am grateful citizens in Champaign have the opportunity to choose UC2B as the network and iTV-3 as a cable, television and digital voice option. I am already signed up, and very much look forward to the day when my neighborhood is on the docket to be built-out. We are on the brink of a new revolution and Champaign is poised to be in the lead as the U.S. bridges the digital divide.”

Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing is delighted to know that her neighborhood is near the 50 percent needed to get service installed. “High-speed Internet opens up tremendous options for people who work from home as well as offering entertainment, education and world-wide communications.”

iTV-3 is a subsidiary of the Illinois-based family-owned company that owns and operates more than 775 Family Video stores in 19 states and Canada. Family Video is the largest movie and game rental chain in the United States. Family Video has three stores in Champaign-Urbana. It has been in the Internet Service Provider business since the mid 1990’s, and has provided fiber-based services since 2009. Learn more at www.ThePerfectUpgrade.com.

UC2B is a not-for-profit organization created by the cities of Urbana and Champaign and the University of Illinois to oversee the UC2B fiber optic network throughout the community. UC2B started as an intergovernmental consortium in 2010 to build and operate the UC2B fiber-optic network using federal and state grants with local matching funds.

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