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Blog // Connect Michigan

$30M Grant Funds Available for Broadband Apps and Innovations

By Amanda Murphy

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Public Safety Communications Research Division (PSCR) recently announced a $30 million grant opportunity toward innovative digital tools for first responders and FirstNet’s national public safety communications network.  "The idea behind this is that we want to help public safety [professionals] envision what the future looks like for them. Not two years or three years from now — but what does 10 years or 15 years look like for you?" said PSCR Director Dereck Orr in an interview with FirstNet. "We want to pull that future vision forward in the timeline by thoughtfully...

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Library Offers Free Take-Home Internet

By Eric Frederick

When applying for jobs, taking an online course, finishing homework, or even setting up an e-mail account, many of the approximately 90 million Americans who do not have adequate Internet access at home turn to their local libraries. New programs offering mobile Internet access are now allowing library patrons to take the Internet with them when the library closes its doors at night. Chelsea District Library (CDL) in Washtenaw County, Michigan began offering “CDL Hotspots” in June, allowing library card holders to check out a device which provides wireless broadband Internet access up to 40 feet for up to 10 devices. Each person or family...

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Going Social on Small Business Saturday

By Eric Frederick

Since 2010, local businesses have urged customers to “shop small” on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and the event continues to grow, thanks in large part to an active annual social media campaign. American Express launched Small Business Saturday in 2010 with a viral multi-media campaign highlighting rare finds at small stores. In 2011, the U.S. government officially supported Small Business Saturday and it is now the largest shopping holiday in support of small business. Every year the movement grows and an increasing number of businesses utilize the buzz online to reach out to new and existing customers. On Small Business Saturday, during...

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Community Change Through Facebook

By Eric Frederick

With more than 1.7 billion active users logging onto Facebook each month, it now represents the largest connected network in the world. Besides its massive global scale, Facebook also connects community groups including schools, universities, police departments, economic councils, and many others. To gauge the broadband infrastructure of Arenac County, Michigan, Connect Michigan (CM) asked key community members to share important messages on the site and share with their friends and neighbors. Within a few hours, the power of this community yielded impressive results. In order to improve broadband infrastructure of any area, a full...

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