News from the ITA

February 28, 2020


Final Webinar in 3-Part series on Connect Illinois Broadband Grant Program Today at 2:00 pm

Part 3 (The Challenge Process)

Connect Illinois – Broadband Infrastructure Funding

Presented by: Matt Schmit, Deputy Director for Broadband, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois Office of Broadband

The Illinois Office of Broadband recently opened the application window for the first $50 million in funding through the country’s largest competitive matching grant program, Connect Illinois, which will funnel a total of $420 million to extend critical high-speed internet access to homes, businesses, and community anchor institutions throughout the state. In collaboration with Illinois Extension, the office will continue to host a series of webinars to help potential applicants and other stakeholders understand the Connect Illinois program and the current funding round. Part 1 (Overview) and Part 2 (Application Packet) of the Connect Illinois Grant Program for Broadband Infrastructure are available for view here.

The last of 3 webinars (Part 3: The Challenge Process) will follow-up on previous questions as well as discuss an opportunity for applicants and other stakeholders to challenge the accuracy of program eligibility maps - for incumbent providers to offer additional information regarding future deployment plans. This webinar will discuss how this challenge process is intended to work. REGISTER HERE

Note: If you previously registered for Part 1 or 2, you are automatically registered for Part 3.

Legislative Update

The Illinois General Assembly met this week in Springfield as they continue working through the spring legislative session process. The bill filing deadline was February 14 and legislators are currently working their bills through the committee hearing process. The ITA is tracking about 50 bills that have the potential to affect the telecommunications and broadband industry directly, change laws and regulations in Illinois regarding data privacy or cybersecurity, and further enhance 9-1-1 service in the state. ITA members can review the up-to-date status and summaries of all the legislation the ITA is tracking and working on through the ITA website.

Call for Presentations for ITA Convention & Vendor Showcase

Does your company have an important topic or issue that ITA members need to learn more about? We recently sent out a call for presentations to all ITA members and associate members seeking presentation ideas for our 2020 events. There's a quick link on the ITA website you can use to submit information for potential presentations to our members. The deadline for submissions is March 13!


 USAC Sends Reminder the Lifeline RAD is effective March 26

USAC has sent a reminder to company's that have not registered any Lifeline representatives in the Lifeline Representative Accountability Database (RAD) that the deadline to do so is March 26. 

In order to prepare for the mandatory use of RAD, companies should ensure that:

  1. All of your enrollment representatives self-register here. Representatives must resolve any errors associated with their Representative IDs when self-registering. This applies to both domestic and international representatives.
  2. You collect all of your representatives’ IDs.
  3. You link each representative’s ID to the NLAD, NV, and/or API account through which they complete transactions.
  4. If you are an API user*, you need to make changes to your National Verifier and NLAD API requests to include the new RAD fields.

Failure to complete each of the steps listed above will essentially bring your company's Lifeline operations to a standstill.

To ensure service providers have the information they need, USAC has developed comprehensive RAD resources. The RAD section of USAC’s website includes information on who needs to register, training, a RAD fact sheet, linking guides, data input templates, and a short video series.

*Note: If you are unsure if your company connects to the National Verifier or NLAD by API, here are a few indicators that your company does use an API:

  1. You make an update in your internal billing system or customer management system and the update is automatically sent to NLAD,
  2. You have your own application or website for initiating Lifeline applications and the website sends the information directly to the National Verifier or NLAD, and/or
  3. Your internal system automatically enrolls a consumer in NLAD when an order is completed, after a phone number is assigned for example.

If you have any questions, contact Lifeline at [email protected]

Illinois Telecommunications Association

312 S. 4th Street, Suite 100

           Springfield, IL 62701             

 (217) 572-1262