U.S. Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13) was host to a Rural Broadband Summit held at Blackburn College, Carlinville, on Aug. 6. Davis wants to see rural Illinoisans have access to high-speed broadband services, which is critical to rural communities and their citizens.
Rep. Davis and Douglas Wilson, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Illinois state director of rural development, discussed federal resources for rural broadband and the need for expanded services. Josh Shallenberger, president/CEO, Shelby Electric Cooperative, Shelbyville; Shawn Rennecker, economic development director for Illinois Electric Cooperative, Winchester; Brooke Gross, communication and member service coordinator, M.J.M. Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Chris Franzen, M.J.M. Electric information technology administrator, joined 25 community leaders from the 13th District.
According to a statement from Rep. Davis’ office, participants raised concerns about the difficulty of getting broadband services to their rural communities.
“Access to broadband ensures individuals living in rural cities and counties have the same educational and economic opportunities as people living in more urban areas,” Rep. Davis said. “I appreciated the discussion with leaders and stakeholders from across my district about their broadband needs and concerns. Congress and USDA have invested in deploying broadband to rural areas, and I want to ensure my constituents have access to these resources.”