Cook County Announces Intergovernmental Agreement With Northern Illinois University

April 19, 2016

An Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between Cook County and the Board of Trustees of Northern Illinois University (NIU) will provide the County with assistance in technology-related initiatives involving regional public partners. The IGA was approved by the Cook County Board of Commissioners last week.

The agreement allows the County Bureau of Technology (BOT) to leverage NIU’s expertise to draft future broadband and networking intergovernmental agreements with regional partners. The contract extends from April 15, 2016, to November 30, 2019.

The Cook County broadband network follows a previous IGA with NIU, as well as partnering with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (SSMMA). These agreements allowed Cook County to use the fiber optic lines that follow CTA tracks and extend them to County network core sites. From the core sites, the network then extends to dozens of County facilities throughout the region.

Specifically, NIU provided the IGA, construction contract, engineering drafting and negotiation services necessary to expand the County’s 10G broadband network to Oak Forest, Markham, County Jail, Provident Hospital, Stronger Hospital and the Downtown Campus. Additionally, NIU experts brokered a three-way agreement with the SSMMA and State of Illinois to allow the SSMMA to receive broadband development grant money in exchange for a County right-of-way on SSMMA broadband assets.