“South Shore has been left on the wrong side of the digital divide, and we can no longer afford to leave our community residents behind. Lack of access to reliable, high-speed internet has a critical social impact and we need to ensure we all have access to telemedicine, education, resources and connections to others”
This year the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Office of Broadband named The Neighborhood Network Alliance (The NNA) of South Shore a recipient of the Illinois Connected Communities cohort grant.
Illinois Connected Communities is a partnership of the Illinois Office of Broadband, the Evanston-based Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, and local philanthropy. The program is designed to engage the first-year cohort of communities through best practice curriculum, and expert consultation. The program was created to assist some of the most underserved areas of the state with building broadband capacity, according to Gov. Pritzker’s Office.
For an individual, family, or business to compete in the 21st-century digital economy, they must have reliable, robust broadband access, just as if it is a basic utility. South Shore Connects project team is powered by The NNA and aspires to help remove the barriers and resulting inequity that exists within our neighborhood by improving & enhancing broadband internet
By the end of the 12-month program, each Illinois Connected Community will have completed a community-driven broadband strategic plan that articulates the community’s broadband vision and identifies an action plan for progress toward improved broadband access in the areas of community and economic development, education, civic engagement, healthcare, agriculture, and more.