Baxter & Woodman, Inc., Consulting Engineers has been selected to provide engineering and environmental support services for the installation of high-speed fiber optic networks for several agencies. The projects are being funded in part through grants from the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program as defined by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The program distributed $4.7 billion to provide affordable high-speed broadband connections to schools, healthcare providers, libraries, higher education, emergency services, local governments, and other anchor institutions in underserved areas. A portion of the network will be available to private industry to help attract and retain business. The network will also create opportunities to expand and improve residential broadband.

Baxter & Woodman’s engineering support will include:

· Preparation of an environmental assessment and wetland permitting for the installation of approximately 140 miles of fiber throughout DeKalb County, northern LaSalle County, and western Kane County in Illinois. This project is being led by DeKalb County.

· Preparation of an environmental assessment, outside plant engineering, and wetland and construction permitting for the installation of approximately 740 miles of fiber optic cable in a 23 county region in southern Illinois. This effort is being led by Clearwave Communications.

· Preparation of an environmental assessment for Sho-Me Technologies of Marshfield, Missouri. Sho-Me will install approximately 500 miles of fiber optic cable in a 30-county area.

· Preparation of an environmental assessment and wetland permitting for a broadband network that will spread across nine counties in northwest Illinois. Northern Illinois University received one of the largest grants in university history – $68.5 million to develop this project which includes extending broadband fiber optic to Whiteside, Stephenson, Ogle, Lee, Jo Daviess, Carroll, Winnebago, Boone and LaSalle counties in Illinois.

The installation of broadband fiber optics should be completed within three years.

Baxter & Woodman, Inc. is an employee-owned design firm that provides planning, design, construction, and technology services for water, wastewater, stormwater, and transportation facilities for municipalities, counties, and state agencies. Environmental, geographic information systems (GIS), water and wastewater operations, and advanced technology needs complement the firm’s civil engineering expertise. Clients are served from nine regional offices in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.