LANSING – During a tour on last week, Gov. Rick Snyder announced new plans to provide universal access to high-speed internet for every Michigan resident, business, region and community.
“As technology continues to rapidly change and evolve, having access to fast, reliable internet is now a necessity for everyday life,” said Snyder at an event at Escanaba High School.
Rural parts of the state and the state’s Upper Peninsula have long complained about the lack of affordable, effective internet access.
“There are many regions of Michigan where internet is inaccessible or ineffective and this plan works to make broadband internet available to Michigan residents in every corner of the state,” the governor added.
Under the plan, a Michigan Consortium of Advanced Networks (MCAN) would be created under Executive Order 2018-2 that was signed in January to solidify a vision for a connected state along with a roadmap to guide the state’s goal of universal broadband access.
MCAN gathered input from Michigan residents before crafting the plan.
“As we traveled the state we heard a clear consensus – Michigan residents need and deserve secure, reliable and affordable broadband,” said Dave DeVries, director of the Department of Technology, Management and Budget and chair of MCAN.
According to the state, Michigan currently ranks 30th in the nation for broadband access and more than 350,000 households in mostly rural areas lack access to vital high-speed internet service. Another two million households only have access to a single, terrestrial internet service provider. The state believes securing good broadband across the state will open up $2.5 billion in opportunities for underserved regions.
The broadband roadmap identifies three areas for improvement 1.) Access to Unserved Areas; 2.) Increase Broadband Adoption; and 3.) Advance Michigan’s Broadband Ecosystem.
Among the recommendations were: increasing investment in broadband to improve community and economic development and the creation of a single-point of contact within state government about broadband investment.
This story was published by the Small Business Association of Michigan. To learn more, click on www.sbam.org