The three commissioners of Michigan Public Service Commission met on November 4 and Cassie Ruhlman, Stakeholder Relations Manager for Connected Nation, was there to provide a program review, research results, and a planning update for the Connect Michigan initiative.
Her meeting with the Commissioners comes about a month after Connect Michigan’s recent award of approximately $3 million, under the federal government’s State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program (SBDD), to further implement broadband initiatives over the original five-year award period. 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, and the creation and facilitation of regional technology planning teams.
A key aspect of the presentation was a discussion of the Connect Michigan Residential Technology Assessment, where 1,200 Michigan residents were surveyed regarding computer ownership, broadband adoption, awareness of available broadband service, and residential uses of the Internet.
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.
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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