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big broadband

Symposium connects groups and technology; ways to bridge local digital divide

CU-CitizenAccess was at eBlack Champaign-Urbana's Campus-Community Symposium this weekend to cover the discussion between groups and organizations on how to better connect the community and technology.

This two-day symposium aimed to take a step toward bridging the digital divide between underserved residents and available technological resources.
As the Big Broadband project nears construction, groups and organizations are looking at ways to use the super-fast network to benefit those residents who are in the most need of training, employment, education and digital literacy.

Discussion panels ranged from community engagement, social services and technology, education, youth and technology, religious groups and technology and media and technology.

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Extras: Big Broadband

A consortium composed of the cities of Urbana and Champaign and the University of Illinois submitted in August three related proposals to the federal government applying for stimulus funding to improve broadband Internet access in the area.

But why does Urbana-Champaign need “big broadband” Internet service in the first place? How will the proposed network connect homes and community institutions? How will this network be paid for and governed? How does the technology work and what does this all mean?

Marie Wilson/ Sheila Miller loads one end of a fiber into an arc fusion splicer, which heats and connects the strands. Splicing 12 strands, the number in a normal cable, takes about three hours, she said.
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