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​What is the ​Internet Freedom Project?

A man thinking about Internet Freedom

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 coverage when it comes to our Internet service.
We have many problems:
  • No competition
  • Services are un-affordable and slow
  • Coverage and access is not universal
  • The cost goes up year after year, and adds on many fees
  • Customer service is awful
  • 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?

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 controlled Internet. No private business.

What about 5G?

ifmc5g

5G is not going to measure up to the hype and will not answer our lack of competition, innovation, high-speed, reliable, and cost-effective broadband options due to a number of limitations.

Those limitations range from lack of fiber-optics everywhere, interference and distance issues, profitability, spectrum ownership, and more.

Alternatively 5G will, very likely, be a continuation of the current status-quo. Without implementing forward-thinking strategy and infrastructure that is focused on the needs of the community, arguably, nothing is going to change.

We cover 5G more in-depth with our 5G Deep Dive article. 

Community-Owned Networks Save Money

Community-owned networks vs incumbents graph

More is better. More cost-effective bandwidth for your dollar.

Community-owned networks vs incumbents graph

More is better. More cost-effective bandwidth for your dollar.

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 400 communities have made a decision to build a high-speed Internet network that they control.

Benefits of Community Fiber-Optic Network

Jobs Ahead Sign

Job Creation: Attract new businesses and enable further growth of our current small businesses. Fiber networks draw in new companies and accelerate entrepreneurial activity.

Many other communities, like Greensboro, NC, Lafayette, LA, and Chattanooga, TN experienced revitalization. 

Senior Woman and Her Computer

Better Healthcare: Tele-medicine 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/

Photo of Children Cheering

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.

a man staring at his field

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.

Multiple choices of ISPs

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.

Customer Survey Icon

Filling out the survey is how we get better Internet

Many of our elected officials are not convinced that the Internet is an essential utility, or that people are unhappy with the slow expensive Internet services they get, but we can change their mind with your help.


Completing the survey and letting us know about your Internet service is the first step to better Internet. It helps prove that there is a need for something better.

Internet Freedom for McHenry County, a non-profit organization consisting of community volunteers. We meet on a monthly basis in Woodstock. Check out our website for more information.

We are not selling anything. Your input in valuable.

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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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