Ottawa Power Station, Lansing Receive Phoenix Award at National Brownfields Conference: Last week in Atlanta, Ga. at the National Brownfields Conference, Brownfields 2013, the city of Lansing received the most prestigious economic development award, The Phoenix Award for Accident Fund’s new National Headquarters/Ottawa Power Station Redevelopment. The project was selected as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 5 winner. An additional surprise was that the project was named 1st runner up for the Grand Prize Phoenix Award. This is the first year the conference has named a 1st runner up for the Grand Prize Phoenix Award. The former Ottawa Street Power Station served as a municipal electric and steam utility generating station for the Lansing Board of Water and Light on downtown Lansing’s riverfront. Long abandoned and an eyesore to Lansing’s skyline and riverfront, it now houses the national headquarters of Accident Fund. The Christman Co. served as the developer and construction company on the project. The project began in 2007 when Accident Fund purchased the building through the city’s RFP process. The $182 million project was completed in April 2011. Accident Fund moved 600 employees into their new space which has additional space for growth. Blue Cross Blue Shield now occupies Accident Fund’s previous space on South Capitol Avenue bringing nearly 300 jobs to downtown Lansing, which allowed Auto-Owners to take over Blue Cross Blue Shield’s space in Delta Township and add jobs there. On July 1, 2012, the city of Lansing signed a contract for services with the Lansing Economic Area Partnership for all economic development work within the city. LEAP officials attended the conference and accepted the award on behalf of Mayor Bernero, the city of Lansing and the Lansing Economic Development Corp. For more information about LEAP, please visit www.purelansing.com.
AT&T 4G LTE Takes Top Spot In 2013 PCWorld/TechHive Speed Tests: AT&T announced Thursday that its 4G LTE network has been ranked fastest for a second consecutive year by PCWorld/TechHive. The tests in 20 U.S. markets including Ann Arbor, show AT&T wireless customers are benefiting from blazing-fast wireless Internet speeds. The 2013 PCWorld/TechHive speed tests showed AT&T led all carriers tested in Ann Arbor, with an average upload speed of 6.7 mpbs and an average download speed of 15.2 mbps. AT&T also outpaced the competition last year in PCWorld/TechHive’s 2012 wireless Internet speed tests, having delivered faster download speeds than any other national carrier in 13 cities tested. Speed is the name of the game for mobile Internet service, as customers are taking advantage of smartphones and apps to help manage their busy lives. In this year’s PCWorld/TechHive report, AT&T led the speed tests with an average download speed of 13.15 mbps and an average upload speed of 6.45 mbps in the 20 U.S. markets tested. AT&T launched 4G LTE in Ann Arbor in September 2012, and it plans to expand its 4G LTE network to cover 300 million people nationwide by year-end 2014. Even as 4G LTE expands, customers can get 4G speeds outside of 4G LTE areas with AT&T’s 4G HSPA+ technology. The AT&T 4G LTE network has also been recognized for speed and performance by other third-party testing firms. AT&T 4G LTE is available in 228 markets and covers more than 200 million people. Improving the wireless network continues to be a priority for AT&T. Over the past five years, AT&T invested nearly $98 billion into operations, more than any other public company in the U.S.
St. Clair County Gains Certification in Connected Community Program Technology: Connect Michigan applauds the efforts of St. Clair County in becoming the sixth community in the nation to achieve certification under Connected Nation’s Connected Community Engagement Program. Results from a 14-month community technology assessment, undertaken by the St. Clair County Metropolitan Planning Commission, along with strategies for broadband expansion, were released today at the St. Clair County Administrative Office Building in Port Huron. The Connected Community Engagement Program, facilitated by Connect Michigan, supports the development of a comprehensive strategy for building a “connected” community by reviewing the technology landscape, developing regional partnerships, establishing local teams, and conducting a thorough community technology assessment. To obtain Connected certification, St. Clair County had to meet certain benchmark scores in the areas of broadband access, adoption, and use that signify it is a technologically advanced community. The St. Clair County Technology Action Plan contains specific recommendations of projects to further expand digital literacy, build awareness of the benefits of broadband, and assist businesses with websites and social media, and improve the online presence of local governments, among others. Other Michigan communities and organizations working to gain certification through this program include the Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning and Development Commission; the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission; and the counties of Barry, Clare, Delta, Gladwin, Livingston, Marquette, Mecosta, Osceola, Oscoda, and Wexford. Last summer, Charlevoix County became the first Connected certified community in the nation. As the designated entity for broadband mapping and planning in the state of Michigan, Connect Michigan is a public-private partnership between the Michigan Public Service Commission and Connected Nation to work with local governments, businesses, and citizens in the goal of increasing broadband service in thestate’s underserved areas. For more information about what Connect Michigan is doing to accelerate technology in Michigan’s communities, visit www.connectmi.org.