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Volo Broadband Submits Grant Applications

Volo Broadband, a local Internet service provider in Champaign-Urbana, is seeking to take advantage of grant funds made available by President Obama's Stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act or the ARRA.

The ARRA has $7 billion dedicated to broadband. The National Telecommunications Agency is overseeing the distrubution of these funds. A large portion of that money is set aside for broadband infrastructure. In the same way that rural communities received electricity and water, this plan has been put in motion to provide equal broadband in rural areas. It also aims to increase the uptake in vulnerable areas and improve the access to anchor institutions around the country.

In Champaign-Urbana, most residents have access to high-speed internet through Comcast Cable and AT&T DSL. Unfortunately, once you step outside of the densely populated areas of Champaign County there are large patches of the county without adequate internet access. Volo Broadband is seeking grant money to provide these areas with wireless point-to-point internet access.

Volo's application aims to create 9 new full-time jobs as well as build 17 towers using local labor. This project seeks about $1 million. The internet access in these areas costs about $70/month, and speeds are usually low--about 1 megabit per second (Mbps). Volo's cost to the customer if awarded the grant will be $45/mo for 5-25 Mbps.

The ARRA is planning to fund three rounds of grants. Volo submitted an application for the first round of funding and grants are set to be awarded beginning November 6th.

Volo Broadband has been providing Internet service to residents and businesses in Champaign County since 2002. Customers choose Volo because it delivers friendly, personal support that you would expect from a local small business, while offering services and pricing that are competitive with national providers like Comcast and AT&T.

Media inquiries can be made to CEO Peter Folk at (217) 721-3893 or Business Development Coordinator Ray Mitchell at (217) 898-0638.

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