CIRBN’s GIGABIT FIBER-OPTIC BROADBAND NETWORK PARTNERSHIP IN MAHOMET

GIGABIT FIBER-OPTIC BROADBAND NETWORK PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN CIRBN, THE VILLAGE OF MAHOMET, AND MAHOMET-SEYMOUR COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT #3

Mahomet – CIRBN, The Village of Mahomet, and Mahomet-Seymour Community Unit School District #3 are proud to announce the official launch of a community-connected fiber optic broadband network for the Mahomet area. This network provides an opportunity for organizations in Mahomet to have access to increased bandwidth, one of the resources needed for business and economic development. The agreement also continues CIRBN’s mission to connect communities in Central Illinois through the power of high speed Internet.

The partnership started as a collaborative effort between the Mahomet-Seymour Community Unit School District #3, the Village of Mahomet, and CIRBN. The School District invested the first phase of the project, installing fiber-optic broadband infrastructure to gain access to CIRBN’s gigabit Internet access network along Interstate 74 in August of 2013. The Village furthered the fiber-optic investment within the community by extending the School’s network on the West side of the Village, and installing new infrastructure on the East side of the Village – coming off Interstate 74 on South Prairie View Road. This allowed the Village to access CIRBN’s gigabit Internet access network in December of 2014. This led the Village of Mahomet and Mahomet-Seymour Community Unit School District #3 to finalize an agreement with CIRBN to provide management and maintenance services for the network, while allowing the investment to be leveraged by other organizations within the Village of Mahomet.

“We are excited to be bringing fiber-optic Internet service to the Village of Mahomet. I would like to specifically thank the Mahomet-Seymour Community Unit School District #3 and the Village of Mahomet, their elected officials, and the team at CIRBN for working so hard to make this opportunity possible. In furthering CIRBN’s mission of connecting communities, we look forward to bringing a 100% fiber network to organizations in Mahomet and delivering gigabit Internet service,” says CIRBN Executive Director Mark DeKeersgieter.

“The grant funding that started CIRBN targeted K-12 schools, so a child at school in Mahomet would have the same educational opportunities as children in large major metropolitan areas. Between our investment in the infrastructure and CIRBN’s gigabit Internet access, we have the foundation and are moving towards a 1:1 program where every student in grades 3 through 12 will have access to their own computer with internet access while at school. Additionally, we were able to save $28,000 during the first year we were on CIRBN’s service. Since adding Sangamon Elementary School, we are now saving $35,000 on annual basis while having a minimum of ten time’s greater bandwidth on CIRBN,” says Mahomet-Seymour Community Unit School District #3 Superintendent Rick Johnston.

Village of Mahomet Administrator Patrick Brown helped drive the Village’s commitment, “A reliable and affordable fiber-optic broadband network is important and fundamental for Mahomet to be competitive in our efforts to help drive economic development growth from new business attraction and to retain current businesses.”

The partnership between CIRBN, The Village of Mahomet and Mahomet-Seymour Community Unit School District #3 has already proven to be a success outside of the original partnerships. Mahomet Public Library Director Lynn Schmidt comments, “Since joining the Village of Mahomet and the Mahomet-Seymour School District in receiving internet services over fiber through CIRBN, Mahomet Public Library increased our internet speed fivefold, cut our monthly bill in half, and decreased downtime significantly. This allows us to better serve our community with fast, reliable internet access.”

 CIRBN, LLC is based in Central Illinois and operates the Central Illinois Regional Broadband Network. CIRBN delivers seamless gigabit fiber-optic Internet and Intranet experience. CIRBN provides service to K-12 school districts, healthcare, public safety, government, not-for-profit, and commercial institutions. More than 100 organizations are already connected to CIRBN’s cutting edge fiber network. CIRBN is committed to connecting communities through the power of high-speed Internet. Enjoy faster service and connect now by contacting (309) 820-7321 or info@CIRBN.org to receive a service quote.

Keeping you connected

On September 30 a fiber cut by an external party interrupted Internet service for many of CIRBN’s customers. Technicians immediately began working to correct the situation and connectivity was restored.

CIRBN continues to implement measures to ensure uninterrupted service for its customers. A connection was recently completed to St. Louis to provide redundant Internet access in case the connection to Chicago becomes unavailable in the future. This connection should ensure that a small fiber break will not impact the delivery of service to customers. An additional redundant connection to Chicago is currently being created. CIRBN hopes to have this second redundancy completed by the end of October.

CIRBN is confident that creating these redundancies will help avoid any interruption of service in the future. However, should you experience one, please check the CIRBN website for information and updates. Additionally CIRBN will email customers with this information as well. If you do not have Internet access via a mobile device to check the website or email, please call the Help Desk at (309) 438-4357. Support staff will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Thank you for your cooperation.

CIRBN provides service to Mahomet

CIRBN is now providing service to Mahomet. Connected via a splice point on Interstate 74, CIRBN has begun providing service via the ICN to Mahomet-Seymour High School, Mahomet-Seymour Junior High School, Lincoln Trail Elementary School, and the district office.

This marks the first step in the Village of Mahomet’s plan to connect nonresidential sites to high-speed broadband.

According to Gary LaForge, Public Works Director for the Village of Mahomet, the project implementation will be rolled out in seven phases, with the majority of the sites to be connected in April. Already the Village has more than 1.5 miles of conduit in the ground. The Village is not planning to directly provide service to residential customers, but will have opportunities for Internet service providers to lease fiber and offer service to residential areas.

The project was precipitated by discussions with the school district, which wanted to increase Internet capacity to utilize technology in classrooms. The Village began examining the need for high-speed broadband and found that many organizations were interested in increasing Internet capacity.

“It has really been a grass roots effort to get this project rolling,” LaForge said. “We’re looking to provide sites with speeds of up to 1 Gb/s.”

Once the network is complete, the Village will be retaining ownership of the network. The sites in Mahomet are the first to connect to CIRBN outside the scope of the federal NTIA grant.

Grant period extended to December

With little more than a week left in September, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) extended the grant awarded to the state to finish construction on its high-speed broadband project. Difficulty securing permits to initiate installation of fiber along the Dan Ryan Expressway was cited as the main reason for the delay in completion of the project. 

As CIRBN is a sub recipient of the grant, in which the state of Illinois is the primary recipient, the grant period is also extended for CIRBN. However, this will not have any impact on current customers or customers interested in connecting to CIRBN. Since construction has been completed and all matching and grant dollars have been expended, CIRBN has established a new financing model to add customers that were not among the original sites under the grant. While CIRBN awaits the end of the grant period in December, it will focus on working with Central Management Services to increase redundancy for our network and preparing to transfer management of CIRBN from Illinois State University to the LLC.

Once again, this extension will not create any changes in service for current customers. However if you have any questions, please email info@CIRBN.org and we will respond as soon as possible.

Broadband network given more time to organize

By Mary Ann Ford

As published on the Pantagraph.com

NORMAL — A grant that funded the Central Illinois Regional Broadband Network has been extended to the end of the year, giving Illinois State University more time to transfer the operation over to a new limited liability corporation. Continue reading

CIRBN General Meeting

CIRBN’s next general meeting will be held from 1:30-3:30 p.m. on September 25 at the Illinois State University Alumni Center. CIRBN project leaders will be discussing the state of CIRBN, grant close-out, progress on the project, and the transition of CIRBN to the CIRBN LLC. To ensure ample handouts are prepared, please RSVP to Diana Weekes at dmweeke@IllinoisState.edu. Be sure to join us for this informative event. 

The Alumni Center is located at 1101 North Main St, Normal, IL and offers convenient parking for all visitors.

Directions

From the North
Exit Interstate 55 South at the Normal-Business 51 exit (#165). The exit ramp will take you to a stoplight, where you will turn left (south) continue down Main Street. The Alumni Center is located on your right.

From the South
Exit Interstate 55 North at the Normal-Business 51 exit (#165-A). The ramp exits onto Main Street (heading south). Continue traveling on Main. The Alumni Center is located on your right.

From the East and West
Take Interstate 74 to Interstate 55 North. Exit Interstate 55 at the Normal-Business 51 exit (#165-A). The ramp exits onto Main Street (heading south). Continue traveling on Main. The Alumni Center is located on your right.

 

Rural Illinois Clinic Starts Telepractice Program, Offers Community Services

August 13, 2013 – 

By Roxana Ryan

As posted on IllinoisBroadband.org.
Children with special needs in Southeast Central Illinois now have access to better care thanks to a high-speed internet connection and an innovative speech language pathologist.

With an award from the Broadband Innovation Fund, Sarah Weiler launched a “telepractice” program at the clinic she founded in Newton, Ill. She first upgraded the internet connection, allowing clinical specialists from around Illinois (and the world) to visit with her patients in the Newton, Ill area. Weiler also was able to purchase professional-grade teleconferencing equipment that helped enable a clear, robust connection for communicating.

“We’re kind of a geographical oddity here in Newton,” Weiler said. “Since we’re located about two hours from everything, many parents aren’t able to travel to consult with specialists or seek out the care their child with special needs might have.”

With a connection to high-speed internet, Weiler has set up one-on-one virtual consultations with specialists and also offered a “Speaker Series” on different topics relating to disabilities and children with special needs for the entire community.

“Our Speaker Series attracted many area families seeking to learn more about everything from learning disabilities to autism,” Weiler said. “We had a full house for many of the talks and allowed time for question and answer sessions at the end.”

Weiler said the upgraded internet connection has also helped her manage the business side of her practice more effectively.

“I’m able to keep up with clients, research new opportunities and work on community outreach efforts in ways that I just couldn’t do before,” she said.

To learn more about Integrated Therapy Service, visit www.integratedtherapyservices.org.
To see a video interview with Sarah, click here.
View the original article.

BTOP Grant Period Extended

August 7, 2013 – 

The period during which CIRBN can take advantage of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant has been extended to September 30. CIRBN, which filed for the grant along with the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS), has agreed to extend its time under the grant so that the CIRBN project close out date aligns with CMS, the prime awardee of the BTOP grant.

CIRBN will be using this additional time to ensure administrative, coordinating, and compliance requirements are met and fully completed. The two months added to the grant period will also give Illinois State University time to ensure a seamless transfer of management functions of CIRBN to CIRBN, LLC. A few technical upgrades will be added to the network, making it even more efficient. Subscribers and project partners will still be receiving service according to the schedules that have been outlined and should not expect any changes or interruptions. This extension does not allow new sites to be added under the grant.

In the next two months, CIRBN looks forward to putting the finishing touches on what has been a grand collaboration of many communities to create a network that will bring new opportunities to the region.