On Highland: “The City of Highland places great importance on providing broadband internet to our community. Our notoriety has grown immensely since the implementation of our Highland Communications Services. In this 21st century, the ability to quickly send and receive vast amounts of data is a major selling point for the retention and recruitment of potential businesses and residents interested in establishing roots in a community.”
On Next Century Cities: “The City of Highland recognizes the importance of creating synergies with surrounding communities that will be mutually beneficial for all involved. In joining the Next Century Cities, we hope to further cultivate partnerships that will enable the City of Highland to stay on the forefront of community innovation efforts.”
What Highland is working on: Highland Communication Services (HCS) is a municipally owned telecommunications company that provides advanced fiber optic services, including Gigabit capacity data, voice and video, to better serve the needs of the local businesses and residents. HCS was developed in response to overwhelming support from citizens to create a fiber-to-the-premises system. The growing, enthusiastic organization strives to improve Highland’s quality of life and strengthen business opportunities.
The city is recognized as a statewide fiber provider, meaning after it can offer all Highland residents its high-speed fiber plans, it can expand to other cities in the state, potentially giving it an additional revenue stream down the road. City officials haven’t yet decided if they will pursue those opportunities.
Highland is also beginning to focus on additional ways to utilize its network. In addition to attracting tech companies, the city would like to help equip its residents with the skills necessary to make them attractive candidates in the 21st century economy, specifically in IT related fields. The main purpose of these workforce development programs will be to develop coders who can one day be hired by a company, or start his or her own business, right here in Highland, Il.