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updated: 10/16/2012 5:22 PM

Aurora gets $1 million state fiber optics grant

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Gov. Pat Quinn was in Aurora Tuesday to give OnLight Aurora a $1 million grant to extend its fiber-optic network across the city.

The money comes from a batch of $6 million in state grants, and $3 million is left to be awarded in the coming weeks, state officials said.

With the $1 million, OnLight Aurora can better deliver a superfast Internet connection to the city's schools, hospitals and, eventually, businesses.

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce President Joseph Henning said the expanded network could help the city lure businesses as companies increasingly depend on access to data.

"The technology is a huge component right now for them," Henning said.

OnLight Aurora is a nonprofit formed after Mayor Tom Weisner put a technology task force together.

The money comes from a multiyear state construction plan that's being paid for via higher vehicle fees, increased sales taxes on alcohol and the video gambling machines in bars that just went online this year.

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