By Wil Payton, Communications Specialist,Connected Nation
“From government and schools to hospitals and private industry, our cyber networks are integral to Michigan’s infrastructure, economic growth, and quality of life.”
Connect Michigan applauds Governor Rick Snyder for recognizing broadband as a vital component for revitalizing Michigan’s declining infrastructure. “Broadband is one of the infrastructures of the future,” said Gov. Snyder yesterday in his Special Message to the Legislature on Infrastructure. That is why, since 2009, the Michigan Public Service Commission has been partnering withConnect Michigan to engage in a comprehensive broadband planning and technology initiative.
Connect Michigan is working to assess the local technology framework, establish goals, and develop action plans for expanding broadband throughout the state. Additionally, the program has been benchmarking broadband expansion and availability information statewide.
These efforts will assist the Governor with recommendations he made yesterday to:
• Leverage new investment and develop a unified vision with regard to broadband access and use in Michigan, with special attention to the rural areas in our state
• Work with private-sector broadband providers to help close the “digital divide” with better coordination, shared resources, more training, and greater investment
In the Governor’s White Paper of the presentation, he cited data from the Connect Michigan Residential Technology Survey to point out that the, “use of high-speed broadband is also a game-changer for our citizens. Yet, only 67% of Michigan households chose to have a broadband connection in the home.”
“The results of the residential broadband survey will allow Michigan stakeholders to have more detailed information available for broadband planning strategies as we move forward,” said Robin Ancona, director of the Telecommunications Division, Michigan Public Service Commission.