Meeting set for next week on fiber-optic network in Paxton

PAXTON — Businesses and government officials in Paxton are being invited to an informational meeting next week to discuss the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district’s recent connection to a statewide fiber-optic network and the potential for the network to be expanded to elsewhere in the community so that others can reap the benefits of high-speed Internet service.

The Paxton-Buckley-Loda Junior High/High School complex on the city’s west side is serving as a “community access point” for the Illinois Century Network (ICN), a fiber-optic network that runs along nearby Interstate 57.

During the meeting, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, in the board room at PBL Junior High School, the ICN’s director in Champaign, Richard Mann, will discuss the ICN and the “potential benefits of the ICN for our community,” said PBL Technology Director Mike Brehm.

“They’re going to talk about what it is we have available to us and what other communities are doing that are serving as community access points like we are,” Brehm said. “And then we’ll discuss if there is any interest in (businesses or government entities) getting involved with it and see if they want to use it as a provider for Internet service.”

Brehm said that if businesses want to connect to the ICN, a second, more lengthy meeting could be scheduled to discuss the possibility.

All members of the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce have been invited to attend next week’s meeting. Brehm said he would hope that local government facilities will have representatives there, as well, including the Ford County Courthouse, Paxton City Hall, the Paxton Carnegie Library, the Paxton Police Department and the Paxton Fire Protection District.

Those planning to attend are asked to contact Brehm  as soon as possible at 379-3314 or drbrehm@pbl.k12.il.us.

For more information about the ICN, visit www.illinois.net/about/default.htm.

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