News from the ITA

January 19, 2018



  Legislative Update

The House of Represnetatives canceled the legislative session days scheduled for January 23rd and 24th next week. The House and Seante will return January 30th. Governor Rauner will give his State of the State Address on January 31st. Schedules with key dates and deadlines can be found on the House and Senate calendars.

We will send regular updates during the legislative session as bills affecting the telecommunications and broadband industry are introduced or scheduled for hearings.  You can also find summaries and the status of key bills on our website under the Advocacy page.

The deadline to submit requests for legislation to the Legislative Reference Bureau is February 2nd and the bill introduction deadline is February 16th. 

ICC Proceedings

The Illinois Commerce Commission did not have a Regular Open Meeting this week. The ICC's next Regular Open Meeting is January 25th. No substantive telecommunication cases of note were filed with at the ICC this week. The rulemaking to update proposed changes to 83 Ill. Adm. Code 757, Telephone Assistance Programs, Docket 16-0566, may be included on the Jan. 25th ICC Regular Open Meeting agenda. No parties are opposed to the proposed changes.

FCC Chairman Pai Proposes $500 Million Boost for Rural Broadband

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai circulated an order Wednesday to promote more high-speed broadband deployment in rural areas that would provide over $500 million in additional Universal Service Fund (USF) support for cooperatives and small rural carriers. The FCC press release said the order would also put in place strong new rules to prevent abuse of the high-cost program and proposes several reforms to the FCC’s high-cost program to improve its effectiveness and efficiency in promoting rural broadband deployment. More from telecompetitor:

FCC proposes $500M rural broadband funding injection, targets traditional and A-CAM mechanisms (Telecompetitor)

ISBE & EducationSuperHighway Host Classroom Connectivity Initiative Sessions

The Governor’s Office, Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and EducationSuperHighway (ESH) hosted informational sessions this week in Chicago and Springfield for internet service providers to provide updates on their initiatives to ensure all schools in Illinois are connected to high-speed internet service. 

ESH and ISBE confirmed they will again request state matching funds in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2019 budget for the E-Rate special construction program. They are requesting $6.3 million. Last year, they requested $5 million. ESH also walked attendees through updates to their Compare & Connect website that they believe will make it easier for service providers to locate schools seeking fiber or bandwidth upgrades. They said the updated changes should be available in the next two weeks.

State Senators Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), Sam McCann (R-Jacksonville) and Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Plainfield) announced this week they are seeking $16.3 million in state matching funds for the E-Rate special construction fund. Here are a couple articles on the proposal:

Statehouse bill would connect rural schools to high-speed internet (State Journal-Register)

Senators announce plan to connect rural schools to high-speed internet (The Telegraph)

For more information, please visit the ISBE Classroom Connectivity Initiative and EducationSuperHighway websites.

 Don't Forget to Review and Update Your Company's Profile for the ITA Printed Directory!

We notified the key contacts for each member company this week that we are preparing the 2018 Printed Membership Directory and are asking each company to verify or update the company’s contact information by January 31st.

The key contact person may update the company’s profile and contact information directly through the ITA website. To make updates to the company’s information or add the company’s logo, please log into the membership portal using the key contact’s email, select “my profile” --> “edit” --> (make the updates) --> “save”.

Please make sure all updates are completed by January 31st, so we have your correct information in the printed directory. Feel free to email Angela at [email protected] or call 217-572-1262 with any questions you may have.

Several Companies have already taken advantage of the opportunity to advertise in the ITA's 2018 printed Directory, but there is still space available. We have consistently heard from our members how valuable a reference tool the physical ITA membership Directory has become to them. Many have told us they keep the directory nearby in their office or as they travel for easy access and reference. Directory ads help defer the cost of production and we appreciate your support. 

 Mailing Address Change

Reminder - Due to the reduced amount of mail received, the ITA has discontinued its PO Box address. You can send mail directly to our office at 312 S. 4th Street, Suite 100, Springfield, IL 62701. Please update your records if you are sending mail to the PO Box address. Thank You!

Illinois Telecommunications Association

312 S. 4th Street, Suite 100

           Springfield, IL 62701             

 (217) 572-1262