With new law, AT&T investing in Illinois

John O'Brien Jun. 22, 2010, 1:29pm


CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - AT&T Illinois is grateful to state officials, including Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and lawmakers for supporting legislation it says allows broadband and wireless technologies to grow.

The company announced Tuesday it plans to builld 80 new cell sites and upgrade 300 more in the state as part of its wireless network investment plans for 2010. Those plans come after Gov. Pat Quinn signed a new telecommunications law that updated one from 1985.

"With his signature, Gov. Quinn opened the doors to increased private sector investment in broadband, wireless and other new technologies for Illinois," AT&T Illinois President Paul La Schiazza said.

"Gov. Quinn, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the four legislatives leaders - Senate President (John) Cullerton, House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, Senate Republican Leader Sen. Christine Radogno and House Republican leader Rep. Tom Cross - as well as every member of the General Assembly has in this new law created a positive economic environment to attract business and retain and grow jobs."

The law, Quinn said, eliminates obsolete regulatory standards and enable telecommunications companies to shift more investment to wireless and broadband technologies.

A Brookings Institution report says a 1 to 3 percent increase in broadband penetration would create between 13,000-39,000 jobs.

A low-cost package for consumers who rely on landline phone service will have its rates frozen for three years.

AT&T expects its investment to be around $18 million.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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