Sunday, October 23, 2011

New Fibre Optics come to counties

BELVIDERE (WIFR) -- Illinois Fiber Resources Group (iFiber) has announced construction crews from Aldridge Electric Company/Kelso-Burnett continue to work in Belvidere, Rockford and other nearby areas. Construction in the zone is expected to continue through the end of the year.

The immediate work plan includes: installing fiber along Business 20, from Belvidere to Rockford; directional drilling in both Belvidere and Rockford; directional drilling on Route 251, from IL 72 (Davis Junction) to IL 64; plowing on IL 64, from Oregon to Route 251; and plowing along IL 72 to the Stephenson County Line.

iFiber’s crews have been working in the region since August. iFiber has contracted with Aldridge Electric (Libertyville, IL), which partnered with Kelso-Burnett (Rockford, IL), for work on the network in Boone, LaSalle, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago counties.

Fiber optic construction will occur within the dedicated roadway right-of-way. During the construction of the fiber optic network, residents will see cable boring equipment in their neighborhood, as well as hand-hole construction crews. Crews also may have staked or painted to identify infrastructure in the area. Disturbed areas will be restored as part of the project.

In September 2010, Northern Illinois University as the fiscal agent, received a $68.5 million NTIA Broadband Technology Opportunity Program grant to deploy an almost 900-mile network across the northwest Illinois region. The project will bring up to 10 Gbps speeds, significantly improving the ability to leverage broadband technology for improvements in rural education, economic opportunities and public safety.

iFiber was established as a not-for-profit entity in January 2011, to address current and future high-speed Internet needs of communities across northwest Illinois. Counties included are Boone, Carroll, JoDaviess, LaSalle, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, and Winnebago.

iFiber is a public-private partnership that will provide access to the new fiber optic network to community anchor institutions such as schools, government, libraries, community colleges and health care providers. Through its service provider partners, iFiber also will promote similar high speed network transport services to businesses and residential subscribers in the private sector.

The grant is administered by NIU and is an Illinois Broadband Opportunity Partner (IBOP). Design engineering and permitting are being coordinated by Baxter & Woodman. In addition to Aldridge/Kelso-Burnett, construction is being completed by PirTano Construction Company (Addison, IL) in Carroll, JoDaviess, Lee and Whiteside counties.

The iFiber Board includes representatives from NIU, LaSalle County, North Central Illinois Council of Governments, the City of Rockford, Boone County, and Blackhawk Hills RC&D.

For more information about the iFiber project, visit In addition, questions about the iFiber project may be directed to