The first round of the Illinois Connected Communities program is beginning to wind down. The program is an education and capacity-building project that pairs critical philanthropic resources with state funding — with a goal of serving 30 under-resourced Illinois communities over three years. Selected communities complete a community-driven, broadband strategic plan that articulates the community’s vision and identifies an action plan for progress toward improved broadband access, adoption, and/or utilization. Selected communities receive a state grant of up to $15,000 and participate in a Benton Institute-run curriculum and coaching program. The program includes a combination of focused, community-specific, regional, and cohort-wide activities throughout a 12-month period.