"Connect Illinois" - a $420-million program to bring high-speed internet to all parts of the state - has been launched. The idea is to improve health care, education, and business opportunities by building a statewide broadband infrastructure.

Central and southern Illinois is particularly underserved, according to Karri Butterfield, with the Black Bay group in Payson.

Click here for Butterfield's comments

A new broadband advisory council will plan the effort and seek federal funding as well.

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