Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that five Michigan companies have been awarded more than $42 million to provide broadband infrastructure to underserved communities in the state.
The competitive grants, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, are funded through the federal stimulus.
“Every community must have access to broadband service to compete and flourish in today’s global economy,” Granholm said. “These Recovery Act grants will improve broadband service for underserved areas in Michigan, creating jobs and spurring economic development.”
The Michigan grants announced today are:
* Crystal Automation Systems Inc. — The $26,497,425 grant will be used to provide high-speed broadband to rural households and businesses over fixed Wireless WiMax and fiber optic cable to health care centers, libraries, schools and community organizations. The project will benefit 140,000 people, 5,000 businesses and more than 700 community institutions in Gratiot, Ionia, Mecosta, Montcalm and Oceana counties.
* Allband Communications Cooperative — The company is receiving two grants, one for $8,622,754 and a second for $1,107,903. The first grant will be used to provide Fiber-to-the-Home and Voice Over Internet Protocol services to northeastern Michigan. This project is expected to benefit 3,800 people, 95 businesses and nine community institutions. Allband anticipates hiring 100 employees upfront. The second grant also will be used to provide FTTH and VOIP to northeastern Michigan, benefiting nearly 500 people and 20 businesses.
* Climax Telephone Co. — The $3,217,499 grant will be used to build Fiber-to-the-Premise service and provide high-speed broadband to the Michigan communities of Climax and Scotts. The company expects the project to benefit 1,800 people, 50 businesses and nine community institutions.
* Island Telephone Co. — The $2,001,528 grant will help bring high-speed DSL broadband service to Mackinac Island, benefiting 588 people, 35 businesses and three community institutions.
* Communication Corp. of Michigan — The $1,221,811 grant will help bring high-speed DSL broadband service to areas near Augusta in Kalamazoo County and near Hudson in Lenawee County, benefiting 650 people and 10 businesses.
In January, the governor announced that Merit Network Inc. had received more than $33 million and Michigan State University $895,482 in Recovery Act grants to expand access to broadband service in communities throughout Michigan.
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