McHenry County Broadband Strategic Plan
- Public Sector
- Fiber + Broadband
- McHenry County, Illinois
Challenge: McHenry County, Illinois, recognized the need for better broadband in many rural parts of their community. They also knew they needed to expand their fiber network regionally to support internal connectivity between their County administrative buildings and anchor institutions. Following the development of the McHenry County Broadband Plan that relied heavily on private sector participation, the County needed to identify partners or find alternate plans to address the digital divide in the County.
Solution: HR Green helped McHenry County develop a middle-mile network engineering design plan and cost budget estimate. This middle-mile network would facilitate the deployment plans of private providers to extend service offerings to unserved and underserved communities in the County. Through a phased approach, HR Green helped the County develop a Phase II outreach plan to private Internet Service Providers to Identify Partner/s.
McHenry County understood the scope and cost of expanding middle-mile Fiber throughout the county to serve its anchor institutions. Through the Request for Expression of Interest developed in conjunction with HR Green, the County gathered information on potential network deployment plans from interested private providers. The inquiry gathered several proposals, from those interested in leveraging the future middle-mile network to those merely seeking help with Illinois state grant applications for their expansion plans. The County is developing a partnership with two national ISP’s to provide service to over 4,000 unserved/underserved residences and businesses.
Benefit: The McHenry County Broadband Plan provided a viable option for the County to solve its institutional connectivity needs and provide a reduced barrier to entry for Internet Service Providers to build last-mile broadband.