Leveraging Federal Funding to Solve the Digital Divide

Leveraging Federal Funding to Solve the Digital Divide – A Step-by-Step Guide

April 8, 2022, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

It is estimated that as many as 42 million Americans lack high-speed internet service. While millions more have internet access, because of heavy usage or poor network design, in reality, it is far from “high speed.” One major impact of the pandemic has been to show the clear need for strong and resilient infrastructure.

While a few years ago broadband was considered a luxury – important mainly for consumers who used it to stream entertainment, the shutdown of 2020-21 made reliable high-speed internet critical to people working from home, attending school through remote learning, and conducting telemedicine appointments with their doctors. As communities begin to envision their new, post-pandemic normal, a key part of most strategies is to develop new approaches to improve broadband services. Federal programs will pump more than $70 Billion in broadband funding into the ecosystem in the next 10 years, creating real opportunities for forward-thinking governments are planning now to deliver new and innovative solutions.

This session will feature case studies from two groups who are charting their path forward, and the Illinois Broadband office, as well as practical tips from HR Green on how to develop a strategy to prepare today to take advantage of the coming wave of funding.


  • Understand how public agencies are preparing today for solutions tomorrow
  • Learn how one state is planning to administer pending federal funding and potential timelines
  • Become familiar with federal funding available for broadband improvement
  • Learn to assess your community’s broadband needs and how to position yourself now for future success

Presented by:

  • Matt Schmit | Director – Illinois Broadband Office
  • Trevor Minyard | Assistant City Manager – McKinney, TX
  • Peter Austin | County Administrator – McHenry County, IL
  • Ed Barrett | Practice Leader – HR Green Fiber & Broadband Services

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