Missaukee County Launches Technology Action Plan

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Fiber optic cables. Wikimedia Commons photo from Sandia National Laboratories

Fiber optic cables. Wikimedia Commons photo from Sandia National Laboratories

LAKE CITY (WWJ) – Missaukee County unveiled its Technology Action Plan Friday at the Missauke County Courthouse as part of its participation in Connect Michigan’s Connected Community Engagement Program.

The Technology Action Plan sets general community-wide broadband connectivity goals to work toward that will support economic development and residential quality of life.

“Our citizens need the same access in their homes whether they are located on the rural curves of M-42, Crooked Lake or any of our other beautiful lakes or in picturesque towns,” said Carolyn Flore, Missaukee County clerk and register of deeds. “Affordable Internet connections help our farmers, our businesses and our residents stay connected which is critical to everyone in this technology age.”

The Connected Community Engagement Program 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 communityassessment of the broadband infrastructure.

The new plan gives the community step-by-step action items to make sure that the goals are met. The plan will also support future broadband expansion and programs that will ensure the community maintains widespread Internet access, adoption, and use.

Missaukee County’s top goals from the new plan are to identify, map, and validate broadband demand, develop adigital literacy and low-cost broadband program in Missaukee County, develop a program supporting their schools’ new technology initiatives, and develop social media and website development classes for the local businesses.

“Fostering broadband adoption, education, and access is critical to addressing the challenges of bringing Internet services into a rural community like Missaukee County,” said Linda Hartshorne-Shafer, emergency management and planning director for Missaukee County. “Better broadband use and understanding are vital to so many facets of the broadband issue in Missaukee County and Northern Michigan, whether it’s from a residential or economic development standpoint.”

Connected Nation developed the Connected Community Engagement Program to help guide acommunity through an assessment of its overall broadband and technology status. Connected certified communities have measurably demonstrated their proficiency for effective Access, Adoption, and Use of broadband-supported technologies. Connected Nation through its partners provides a national platform for recognizing those communities that excel across these important benchmarks.Funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, this effort is part of the State Broadband Initiative. More at http://www.connectednation.org/get-connected.

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 theMichigan’s underserved areas. For more information about what Connect Michigan is doing to accelerate technology in Michigan’s communities, visit http://www.connectmi.org.

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