IFMC Petitions Underwood to Amend “LIFT Act”


August 6, 2019 (Woodstock, IL) – Internet Freedom for McHenry County (IFMC) met with Congressional Representative Lauren Underwood (IL14) to discuss legislative amendments that could deliver more broadband internet to areas across her district, especially the most rural and underserved.

IFMC Founder and Public Interest Director, David Gutowsky, and other representatives of IFMC attended the meeting with Congresswoman Underwood on Friday to discuss a proposal for community-owned fiber.

“It was an important conversation to have as only 2% of McHenry County households have access to fiber-optics. We are 12% behind the national average,” Gutowsky said. “McHenry County is being left behind. That hurts our community, and it hurts our economy.”

Studies show that at least 39 percent of rural areas have no Internet service at all, and 51 percent of all Americans have only a single provider to choose from. This data is statistically accurate across much of Illinois’ 14th Congressional district.

Underwood and IFMC met to discuss possible amendments to H.R.2741, called the Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s America Act “LIFT Act”, which creates a loan infrastructure program, but leaves McHenry County ineligible because poorly defined legislation and inaccurate FCC data.

Gutowsky said, “If we are going to move forward with competitive options, the federal government is going to have shift to requiring fiber-optics and open-access, free-market principles. We hope Underwood would support this shift for McHenry County.”

About Internet Freedom for McHenry County: Internet Freedom for McHenry County ( is a non-profit organization of community members joining together to drive civic action that will promote the improved use of fiber-optics to provide cost-effective, reliable, and high-quality connectivity to everyone within McHenry County.