Broadband People: New Director for Illiniois Office of Broadband


Devon Braunstein, the current assistant director, will be heading the office.

Jake Neenan Broadband People: New Director for Illiniois Office of Broadband Photo of Devon Braunstein, assistant director of the Illinois Office of Broadband, from Illinois

WASHINGTON, May 6, 2024 – The Illinois Office of Broadband announced on Monday that Devon Braunstein, the office’s assistant director since December, is taking over as deputy director.

Braunstein previously spent three years with the Chicago mayor’s office, where she worked on digital inclusion initiatives, including a stint as the city’s digital equity director. In that role, she oversaw the city’s Chicago Connected program, an initiative that provides free broadband to more than 60,000 low-income families in Chicago’s public school system. She also worked on the city’s digital equity plan, which the IOB cited as a “model for other cities across the country” in its state digital equity plan.

Matt Schmit, the current IOB director, is slated to join the Illinois Broadband Lab, a collaboration between the IOB, the University of Illinois system, and other state agencies and nonprofits that researches broadband policy. Schmit will be the group’s senior director for broadband. 

Schmit joined the broadband office when it was first stood up in 2019. He has since overseen the IOB’s Connect Illinois grant program, which provided $420 million in state funding for broadband infrastructure. The state has since disbursed another $328 million from the American Rescue Plan Act under the program and is planning to do the same with its $1.04 billion BEAD allocation. Schmit also oversaw the development of the state’s BEAD implementation plan and digital equity plan.

The IOB will also wrap up the rebuttal phase of its BEAD challenge process on Monday night. The state is planning to review the evidence it received and make final adjudications by June 18.