​What is the ​Internet Freedom Project?

​What is the ​Internet Freedom Project?

How can our communities benefit from powerful connectivity at home, school, and work?

McHenry County does not have real competition and/or adequate coverage when it comes to Internet service. For most, the cable companies are the only real game in town. For others, it is a mixture of fixed-wireless, satellite, or wireless cellular connectivity. While these Internet service companies provide adequate and essential service, it has many problems.

  1. There is no competition
  2. Services are unaffordable and slow
  3. Coverage and access is not universal
  4. The cost goes up year after year, and adds on many fees
  5. Customer service is awful
  6. The incumbents stifle our ability for innovation and economic growth

The lack of competition, cost-effective, high-speed Internet connectivity negatively impacts many aspects of our community.

How do you feel about your Internet service?

Does cheaper, faster Internet with more competition interest you?

Internet Freedom for McHenry County is a non-profit (501c4) organization of community volunteers from McHenry County, Illinois that is dedicated to providing better broadband access and Internet development in McHenry County, ensuring freedom of information, right to privacy, and Net Neutrality. We unite around the idea that to together, we can build a better today for ourselves and our children.

The lack of competition driven by a few giant companies has lead to a monopoly. The existing companies refuse to compete and expand their networks. As a result, we propose a free market approach through partnership with our own small business where we make the decisions and gain true fast, reliable service while keeping the profits.

Right now, we are paying a lot more than most other countries and communities for poor service and slow speeds. The profits are also going to private companies out of state. There is a better, cheaper alternative.

By optimizing Internet access with fiber optics and having it be community-owned, McHenry County will address any strategic goal, like more jobs, improved healthcare, better and cheaper education, lower taxes, and more.

The Internet Freedom Idea

  • Fiber-optics to everyone. The best there is. Instant uploads and downloads.
  • Competition on that line. Multiple providers fighting for your business.
  • Designed to keep costs low by being owned by you, like an Electric Cooperative. No government. No private business.

Community-Owned Networks Save Money

Community-owned networks vs incumbents graph
Incumbent offerings and their prices
Community-owned offerings and their prices

What Are Your Neighbors Saying?

Laura B.

Crystal Lake, IL

"We have had ATT here at least 12 times in the 3 yrs we lived here. Horrible internet connection. NO phone signal. Have to search for bars. Games take hours to download. Wifi tv freezes up all the time. "

Wes R.

McHenry, IL

"Comcast has a Stranglehold on the local area and we are entitled to having OPTIONS, whats the point of an open market if there's only one option in town because they bully out the competition?"

"I find this concept very interesting. I have struggled as a small business owner for the last 10 years with the cost of internet access climbing along with everything else here in McHenry County. It would be great to have another option that was much less expensive. I truly hope this will be a viable option in the future."

Michelle B.

Woodstock, IL

Many Communities Around The Country Have Built Their Own Network

Over 900 communities have made a decision to build a high-speed Internet network that they control. Some of those communities are from Illinois. Such Illinois communities include Rock Falls, Champaign-Urbana, and Highland.

Community-Owned Network Map

Over 900 communities have made a decision to build a high-speed Internet network that they control. Source: Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Benefits of Community Fiber Network

  • Job Creation: Attract new businesses and enable further growth of our current small businesses. Fiber networks draw in new companies and accelerate entrepreneurial activity.
  • Better Healthcare: Telemedicine removes distance barriers to cutting-edge medical technology for those that cannot travel safely or are in an emergency situation. Elderly, military veterans, and other patients can be diagnosed, treated and monitored from home. Elderly can live at home longer, reducing the cost of eldercare and improving quality of life in later years  
  • Education: Fast Internet and video services enhance educational efforts at all levels. This is particularly important for adult learners who are utilizing online learning to retrain for new jobs. Children can get their homework done. Parents can register their child without leaving home.
  • Enhanced Lifestyle: Instant downloads and uploads of media sharing like videos. Buffer-free Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and more. Work from home is seamless and productive. Provide much faster, cost-effective, reliable internet service to all McHenry County residents and businesses.
  • Local Control: Provide a locally controlled resource that will benefit residents and businesses, not corrupt Illinois politicians or far away corporations. Protected for the ages to protect our investment.
  • Free Market Choices: Dislike your Internet Provider? We will have more choices to choose from. True free-market principles in action in McHenry County leading to lower costs and innovation.

How do you feel about your Internet service?

Does cheaper, faster Internet with more competition interest you?

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Results of Woodstock Chamber Survey

IFMC has been coordinating with the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and Industry to gather marketing data to assess the need for community-fiber. On an annual basis, the Woodstock Chamber conducts a membership survey to gather a variety of data on how the chamber is doing. IFMC was able to insert five questions as part of that survey. The survey…

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