In Illinois, businesses rely on high-speed internet service to grow and create jobs. As customers are using the internet to find the products and services they want or need, businesses need to connect with those customers and deliver for them. This is how businesses are growing and creating jobs in today’s economy.

Unfortunately, the state’s outdated communications law holds back investment in high-speed internet and stronger wireless networks and the jobs that investment can help create. Unless state lawmakers take action in the next few weeks, Illinois will miss this important chance to fuel our economy and create more jobs.

Legislation currently under discussion at the state capitol would help Illinois catch up to other states by updating the outdated policy with a modern communications law. Both House Bill 2691 and Senate Bill 1381 would help create jobs by attracting more investment in high-speed internet and wireless networks.

A great example of how technology is creating jobs can be found at Dinger Bats, based in Ridgway, Illinois. Dinger Bats is making some of the best wooden baseball bats in the world, used by little leaguers all the way up to, yes, the big leaguers. For Dinger Bats, wired and wireless high-speed internet is essential, because it connects customers anywhere to its business in Illinois. With that business connection, Dinger Bats is hitting it out of the park.

But there is constant pressure for businesses to have access to the latest innovation, and, unfortunately, there is an outdated state law throwing a curve at potential growth in Illinois. The state’s old school communications law was designed for connections from decades ago. That law holds back investment in the modern networks will be creating the jobs of tomorrow.

Meanwhile, surrounding states Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Kentucky already passed modern communications laws to attract more investment in wired and wireless high-speed internet networks to help their businesses create jobs.

While the prospect of Illinois falling further behind is looming, there is potential for important progress with the modern communications law proposed in Springfield. This bill is important for jobs everywhere, because virtually every area of our economy relies on wired and wireless high-speed internet services, including: retail, technology, transportation, health care, education, energy, professional services, real estate, agriculture, media and public safety.

Employers are using real-time software and the power of the internet to manage their employees, fleets, business and customer data and operations. They are using high-speed internet networks to market to customers through social media and digital ads on mobile devices. But those networks need to be undergoing constant improvement in order to stay on the cutting edge of development and to meet the needs of employers and consumers alike.

Before the end of session in May, state lawmakers can help strengthen the Illinois economy. By passing a modern communications law, Illinois can help attract private investment in high-speed internet networks that will help Illinois businesses create jobs and grow.

This simple policy update can create more jobs and provide customers what they want with no rate increase – with no subsidy from Illinois taxpayers.

That’s why a modern communications law would be a home run for Illinois.

Rob Karr is the Illinois Retail Merchants president and CEO. Greg Baise is the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association president and CEO. Todd Maisch is the Illinois Chamber of Commerce president and CEO.

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