Thousands of residents in rural areas of Illinois will get access to high-speed Internet service for the first time under a federal government program. More than a quarter of the state's rural population lacks access to high-speed Internet. Illinois has the 20th lowest rate of rural broadband availability in the country. Nearly 16,000 residents will soon have access to affordable, robust broadband under a Federal Communications Commission program that has set aside $4.7 million in funds for Illinois. The agency's Connect America Fund has an overall goal of connecting 19 million rural Americans by 2020.
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