Gov. Snyder Announces Universal Access to High-speed Internet Across Michigan

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Gov. Rick Snyder, along with state technology and business leaders, today announced a plan to provide universal access to high-speed internet for every Michigan resident, business, region, and community. The new Michigan Broadband Roadmap sets the path for improving access and adoption of broadband throughout the state.

Michigan currently ranks 30th in the nation for broadband availability and more than 350,000 households, in mostly rural areas, do not have access to high-speed internet service.

Another 2 million households only have access to a single, terrestrial internet service provider. There is approximately $2.5 billion in potential economic opportunities available for these regions if the gap is closed, the state reports.

“As technology continues to rapidly change and evolve, having access to fast, reliable internet is now a necessity for everyday life,” says Snyder. “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.”

Snyder recently created the Michigan Consortium of Advanced Networks (MCAN) to solidify a vision for a connected state along with a roadmap to guide the state’s goal of statewide broadband access. MCAN gathered input from public and private entities from around the state and held six listening tours to fully understand the needs of Michiganders before creating the comprehensive plan.

“As we traveled the state we heard a clear consensus — Michigan residents need and deserve secure, reliable, and affordable broadband,” says Dave DeVries, chairman of MCAN an director of the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. “The path toward reaching our goals will take time and collaboration from both the public and private sector, but is ultimately achievable.”

The broadband roadmap identifies three main areas for improvement: 1) Access to Unserved Areas; 2) Increase Broadband Adoption; and 3) Advance Michigan’s Broadband Ecosystem.

Recommendations include a call for greater investment in broadband to improve community and economic development, establishing a single point of contact for within state government, promoting and building awareness for low-cost broadband subscription programs, improving the workforce pool for the telecommunications industry, promoting digital literacy, and creating a permanent broadband commission to advise future governors and the legislature.

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