map of fiber coverage for southern illinois

Clearwave Finishes Three Year Broadband Project

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VIENNA — Clearwave Communications is wrapping up its three year project to expand Internet access and bandwidth in southern Illinois. The work stretches across 700 miles. Schools in Johnson County are some of the last to get the fiber optic connection.

ray cagle closeup


“We just knew that the need was great, when we looked at our schools, hospitals and libraries,” says Ray Cagle with Clearwave.Clearwave Communications has been working on its fiber optic connection project since 2010. The company was awarded a $45 million grant to provide new broadband access for schools, libraries, hospitals and public safety facilities. Vienna High School got its new Internet two weeks ago. Summer school students are the first to enjoy the new tool.

“I feel like this provides our students and staff with more information and so I’m looking forward to the upcoming year,” says English teacher Brian Jones.Jones says the faster Internet service will allow the school to support video streaming and provide campus-wide Wi-Fi. Vienna High School’s Technology Director Joshua Stafford says, he’s excited about the possibilities “Fiber opens up the opportunity that we can expand our capacity for an educational tool that our teachers can put into use,” says Stafford.

The new fiber optic link provides a connection ten times faster than the school had before. Cagle says the goal is to improve the quality of life for these institutions and for southern Illinois. “These entities like Vienna High School and like some of the hospitals and different institutions are going to be able to take this and utilize and come up with more and more ways that this allows them to do what they do, better and better,” says Cagle.

The project is set to wrap up at the end of the July.