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Blog // Connect Michigan

Igniting Better Broadband in Rural Michigan

By Eric Frederick

Though they may be 30, 40, 50, or even many more miles away from busy cities, rural areas seek the same advantages through technology as urban areas. While high population density attracts many broadband carriers to urban areas, many rural areas often struggle to get on the map. Alcona County, Michigan—with a population of about 11,000—is bringing their community and their technology assets together to expand education, healthcare, business, banking, entertainment, and more through broadband in the same ways many urban areas do. The Leadership Alcona Technology Expo, set for October 22, began as a part of the Technology Action Plan the...

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Census Shows Home Broadband Adoption Improving in the U.S., Despite Persistent Gaps

By Chris McGovern

The United States Census Bureau recently released data from its 2015 American Community Survey (ACS) showing that home Internet access and broadband adoption are climbing in the United States, albeit slowly. Overall, the ACS data shows that 77% of Americans have some sort of broadband service at home. That includes 6% of Americans who subscribe only to mobile service at home. Not all Americans are subscribing at the same rate, and this new data shows that some of the gaps appear to be shrinking at a glacial pace. Fewer than one-half (49%) of Americans living in households with annual incomes below $20,000 have home broadband service,...

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Iosco County Summit Showcases Business and Technology Growth

By Eric Frederick

On October 13, community, business, government, and technology agencies will come together at Showcase Iosco, a resurrection of a previous area business summit, now representing a wide intersection of community resources. The event—featuring panel discussions on current and developing programs across public, economic, and civic fields—invites every stakeholder in the community to show what they have to offer and to work together for the betterment of the area.  Showcase Iosco began as a part of the Technology Action Plan (TAP) developed in partnership with Connect Michigan. Iosco County is one of more than 50 communities in Michigan...

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Local Agriculture Growing Through Social Media

By Eric Frederick

Eight years ago, Grow Benzie started with an abandoned plant nursery, an old greenhouse, and an empty retail building. The non-profit now boasts a community center, an incubator kitchen, community garden, flourishing greenhouse, sewing studio, business center, and a food truck. Grow Benzie helps agriculture and culinary businesses expand and get started, hosts classes to teach the public about nutrition and hobby farming, and makes fresh, local produce available to low-income families. Nestled in a rural corner of Benzie County, Grow Benzie is using online marketing to expand its reach and help local farmers do the same.  “We are...

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