Connect Michigan Awarded $3 Million in Recovery Act Funding
The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration has awarded Connect Michigan approximately $3 million in additional funding, under the State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program, to further implement broadband initiatives over the original five-year award period.
Connect Michigan is a statewide broadband expansion initiative and public-private partnership between the Michigan Public Service Commission and Connected Nation.
The additional funding will allow broadband mapping efforts under the SBDD program to continue for three additional years. The program also focuses on projects that relate to broadband planning activities, such as the identification of barriers to the adoption of broadband service and information technology services, the creation and facilitation of local technology planning teams, and the establishment of computer ownership and Internet access programs.
“Since the first broadband grant, we know that individuals, using Michigan’s new interactive broadband map, have been successful at convincing broadband providers to expand their services,” said MPSC chairman Orjiakor Isiogu. “The additional funding announced today will implement even more broadband initiatives across the state.”
“Jobs and business innovation depend on broadband,” said Brian Mefford, CEO of Connected Nation, Connect Michigan’s parent organization. “We are excited to take this initiative to the next level to ensure Michigan’s communities have the broadband capacity to compete in today’s technological economy.”
Connect Michigan will continue to engage in broadband data collection activities that will capture complete and up-to-date datasets from the state’s broadband providers and will result in regularly scheduled updates and further enhancements to the state’s interactive broadband map.
The Connect Michigan initiative released its first iteration of the map in May at www.connectmi.org. The additional funding will allow the state to prioritize and track progress over a longer period of time. This data will also be used to populate the comprehensive, interactive, and searchable national broadband map that NTIA is required by the Recovery Act to create and make publicly available by February 17, 2011.
As the designated entity for broadband mapping in the state of Michigan, Connect Michigan is a public-private partnership between the Michigan Public Service Commission and Connected Nation to unite local governments, businesses, and citizens in the goal of increasing broadband service in the state’s underserved areas.
To learn more about this grant please visit http://www2.ntia.doc.gov/grantee/connected-nation-michigan.
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