iFiber, NIU part of November conference

Logo of iFiber: Illinois Fiber Resources GroupBuilding on the success of its first regional conference on broadband and economic development held last November in Danville, Va., Broadband Communities will host its second regional conference from Tuesday, Nov. 5, through Thursday, Nov. 7, in Tinley Park.

The conference will focus on the extraordinary experiences of dozens of communities in America’s Midwestern heartland, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The conference will examine what is working well, what is not and what lies ahead, particularly as federal stimulus funding ends. Speakers will provide attendees a wealth of economic research, case histories, how-to materials, and other practical information that they can use effectively in their communities.

iFiber will exhibit at a booth along with three other broadband entities under the umbrella of NIU’s Division of Outreach, Engagement and Information Technologies. John L. Lewis, iFiber board president, also will participate on a panel discussing “Growing the Knowledge Economy Through Education and Workforce Development.”

NIU has become a leader in numerous important regional broadband projects. Its involvement clearly exemplifies NIU’s economic engagement goals with regional stakeholders. Among projects benefiting from NIU’s leadership are iFiber, NIU Broadband Development Group, NIUNet and Illinois Rural HealthNet (IRHN). NIU has strategically planned and assisted in the build out of more than 2,200 miles of fiber optics in Illinois, with more than 750 “community anchor institutions” having high speed broadband capabilities.

NIUNet logoNIUNet is a 175-mile fiber optic look throughout the western Chicago suburbs and greater northern Illinois reigon. iFiber is a provider of extremely high speed (1Gb) network transport services in Boone, Carroll, JoDaviess, LaSalle, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties. IRHN connects more than 75 health care facilities in Illinois, used primarily for Health Information Exchange (HIE), Telemedicine and Telehealth.

Broadband Development Group provides connectivity solutions to clients and partners in Illinois.

Broadband Development Group’s Rusty Winchel, project coordinator for the Chicago Southland Fiber Project, will lead a Nov. 5 opening session of the conference titled “Economic Revival: The Chicago Southland Fiber Network Story.” The new 144-strand fiber trunk from downtown Chicago down the I-57 corridor is almost complete and will connect dozens of educational, community and medical institutions.

But that’s only the beginning. As fiber community networks branch off the trunk in the years ahead, local employers are counting on it.

John L. Lewis

John L. Lewis

Conference speakers include:

  • Bruce Montgomery – board member, Broadband Illinois;
  • Ed Paesel – executive director, South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association; and
  • Ed Zabrocki – mayor of Tinley Park.

Winchel also will participate on a panel titled “Helping Small and Medium Businesses Grow and Prosper With Fiber.”

Broadband Communities is assembling an outstanding multi-disciplinary roster of national, regional and local experts who have extensive experience in using advanced communications capabilities to foster economic development and create jobs.

The conference also will address the latest “hot” topics, including Google Fiber, FirstNet, the Connect America Fund, the FCC’s new Health Care Connect Fund, emphasizing their potential to foster economic development and job creation. There will be ample time for networking and learning about relevant cutting-edge products and services.

For more information, call (281) 342-9655 or email meredith@bbcmag.com.

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