The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has released a notice of funding opportunity/request for proposals (NOFO/RFP) for pending state funds to expand internet connectivity in schools. The funds would reimburse school districts for the cost of upgrading their broadband infrastructure to fiber optic technology. Fiber optic technology delivers the most affordable and fastest network speeds to schools and allows districts to scale cost-effectively to meet growing bandwidth needs in the future.
Nearly 75 districts across the state have been identified as having one or more school building in their district without access to this scalable infrastructure. Priority of funding will be given to districts that can demonstrate one or more buildings in their district is in need of a fiber upgrade.
In order to apply interested districts must:
- Leverage E-rate funding and apply for special construction on their E-rate 470 and 471 applications.
- Create a detailed RFP and/or Project (guidance and sample templates from EducationSuperHighway, an Illinois Classroom Connectivity Initiative partner)
- Compare bids and choose a winning provider, following E-rate timelines, rules and guidance from USAC.
- Complete the IL E-rate State Matching Grant Form on the ISBE Broadband Information website
For more information or questions, please contact us!