Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Digital Divide in Illinois

Our friend Annie Collins from Fiber for Our Future in the Tri-Cities of Illinios has been named to a state-wide digital divide panel there.

A key element in the announcement is tucked away at the end:
The Council will make recommendations to the General Assembly regarding telecommunications initiatives that require legislative approval, including the creation of a state entity that handles distribution of funds for private and public telecommunications projects.
That the panel is charged to design an "entity" that handles distribution of monies for both private and public telecommunications projects is notable. What makes it even more interesting is that the composition of the panel includes flat-out advocates of the public interest like Annie and Bill Samuels of Chicago's Ministerial Alliance Against the Digital Divide.

This contrasts distressingly with our state's rural broadband initiative, a group called the Louisiana Broadband Council. Mike dissected their membership. But suffice it to say that what is missing from the mix is anyone to represent rural consumers.....

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