Grassroots Success Story: Pembroke Township Crosses Digital Divide with Access to WiFi Internet Service
Today, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, Ranking Member of the Oversight Committee’s IT Subcommittee, unveiled a successful joint endeavor to bring WiFi connectivity to Pembroke Township and Hopkins Park. She made the announcement alongside a coalition of local business and community leaders. This marks the first time Pembroke Township will be connected to high-speed wireless Internet service.
“Like many people living in rural and emerging communities across the country, Pembroke residents have limited and spotty Internet coverage that has hindered their ability to connect online with family, friends, businesses and interests around the world,” Rep. Kelly said. “Through the concerned efforts of a highly motivated grassroots coalition, residents are now ‘on the grid’ and enjoying wireless connectivity that will help this community thrive. We are grateful that Pembroke Township is working to close the ‘Digital Divide’ and that Pembroke families can enjoy all the advantages of Internet access.”
Rep. Kelly also thanked Cambium Networks and Cyber Broadcasting, who worked together to bridge a ‘digital gap’ in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood, where a small residential area lacked WiFi connectivity.
According to Congresswoman Kelly, Tim Nugent, president and CEO of the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County, first mentioned the project to Riverside Healthcare and the National Bank of St. Anne, both of whom immediately offered to assist.
“We wouldn’t be here today without grassroots community leadership, Cambium or Cyber Broadcast. This project would not have succeeded without the support of Riverside HealthCare and the National Bank of St. Anne, who lent support to maintain the WiFi tower and connectors for the first two years,” she added. “I look forward to replicating this type of project in communities across Illinois. All families deserve expanded and improved WiFi connectivity.”
Rep. Kelly also expressed thanks to members of the Pembroke Library Board and Head Librarian Veronica Thurman, who worked with the companies to make sure the equipment was installed and tested. She also acknowledged Fred Carter and Dr. Jifunza Carter, of the Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Renewable Living, for allowing the needed equipment to be installed on their land to offer the Pembroke community this service.”