Kathy's Mailbag: i3 Broadband Expansion in Champaign-Urbana

CHAMPAIGN, IL. -- “Is i3 Broadband still expanding in the Champaign-Urbana area? My neighbors across the street have had it for over a year and I'm still waiting. As I look at the C-U maps on their website, it doesn’t seem there’s been any significant change of status in any neighborhood.”

Newsroom colleague Niko Dugan talked with Jane Larson, chief marketing and sales officer for i3 Broadband. Her advice: For now, don't rely on that map. It's been out of date for some time. But Larson said it will be updated soon as part of a refresh of the i3 website.

“We apologize that the map on our website has not been updated recently,” Larson said.

“The refresh of our website is happening in multiple phases, and the map update is set to be completed in the next phase, which is expected to done by early November.”

Larson said the company is in the process of nailing down an approximate date when it will complete building out its networks throughout central Illinois, including the C-U, Peoria, Springfield and Jacksonville areas. But as they are currently in the budgeting process, she couldn't say what that date might be.

“We are continuing to build out a whole lot of areas in Champaign, with construction happening simultaneously,” she said.

“As you know, there is new government funding available through the American Rescue Plan Act, which could affect things. We are doing our best to get everything done safely and in a timely manner.”

She said in general, for each sector on the map, the company first designs the build-out, then applies for permits, then begins construction once those permits are approved. Notifications to residents don't start until digging permits are approved, and will come in the form of an email, postcard and welcome letter, which should also list a time frame for completion. After construction is finished but before service is activated, sales representatives will put a flyer near each resident's door and knock to let them know they are ready.

Larson said those looking for the most up-to-date information should keep an eye out for press releases from their city about upcoming utility digging projects.

Source: Kathy's Mailbag, The News-Gazette, Champaign-Urbana