Carl Sandburg College covers a 3000 square mile service area in West Central Illinois. There are sixteen school districts located within the College district. It is the mission of the College "To provide accessible, quality education in a caring environment by keeping the learner's needs at the center of decision making and by working in partnership with communities of the College district."
The College believes that its district's residents should have the access to rich, diverse and high quality learning opportunities regardless of the location of the district they have chosen to call home.
The College has over the years tried to establish communication networks to communities within its district for the delivery of educational services. However, due to the multiple telecommunication providers located within the district, land lines crossing Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) territories incurred significant recurring monthly charges making it practically unaffordable for the public schools to take advantage of services offered by the College.
In 2002, the College birthed the concept of the Wireless Network and presented it to its Board of Trustees at their regular meeting in October with a recommendation to commission a feasibility study. The study results came back affirming the feasibility of the network to offer reliable and high speed district wide connectivity. Combined with the fact that wireless technology has progressed rapidly and is the modern reliable and low cost alternative for wired networks, the College chose the wireless option.
Since this network is owned and operated on a breakeven basis by the College District in partnership with the K-12 School Districts, costs of participating in the network are significantly lower than what telecommunications providers across the district can offer. At the same time the network offers an array of managed services that cannot be duplicated by any one entity in the constituent geographic area.