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Blog // Connect Michigan

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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Cutting the Cable

By Eric Frederick

Video on demand (VOD) and streaming services are changing the way that viewers watch TV. Users no longer have to wait until nine o’clock to watch their favorite shows, and many are skipping commercials. New movies don’t have to be rented from a store, ordered via cable TV or even seen in a theater. Affordable online subscription services are expanding TV options and, in some cases, replacing cable.  With the average cost of a cable TV bill in the U.S. at $99—results of a steady 8% rise since 2010—many viewers are cutting the cord simply due to costs. As costs rise, so have VOD subscribers and the number of services available. In 2010...

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Closing Dead Zones Without Radio Towers

By Eric Frederick

With vast spreads of trees, the natural landscape of Ogemaw County, Michigan, is a large part of its appeal; however, that is also what makes it difficult to build radio towers, which transmit cellular signals and broadband over radio frequencies. Surrounding counties in northeast Michigan suffer the same dilemma, with a beautiful landscape that many seek to enjoy, but not while being cut off from the outside world. Ogemaw County and surrounding counties, with assistance from the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments (NEMCOG), are working to make radio transmission installation cheaper, easier, and less damaging to the environment by...

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Rural Broadband Connects Cutting-Edge Observatory

By Eric Frederick

On the edge of the Utah-Nevada border, off Route 50—known as “The Loneliest Road in America”—is Baker, Nevada, with a population of 84 and no significant cities in a 50- to 60-mile radius. This far-flung seclusion gives Baker the darkest skies in America, making it the perfect location for the Great Basin Observatory (GBO), a newly constructed astronomy research and outreach center in the Great Basin National Park. Recently installed broadband and mobile infrastructure enabled Baker to get on the coverage map, and this connection is now bringing stunning photos and remarkable astronomical research to the world. Baker came to Connect Nevada’s...

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