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Blog // Connect Michigan

USDA Accepting Applications for $11M in Grants To Further Broadband to Rural Communities

By Amanda Murphy

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications for grants through its Community Connect program. This program helps fund broadband access in unserved communities and is administered by USDA’s Rural Utilities Service. More than $11 million in grants will be awarded for broadband infrastructure, as well as broadband for community centers and public institutions. For 2016, the minimum grant amount will be $100,000, and the maximum is $3 million. For more information on the application process for the grants, see the April 18, 2016 Federal Register. Read the news release distributed by the USDA on April 18, 2016.

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FCC Approves Broadband Consumer Labels

By Amanda Murphy

Earlier this month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released voluntary labels for broadband providers to use to disclose speeds, data caps, prices, and more for consumer broadband service. These labels were proposed by the Commission’s Consumer Advisory Committee as a safe harbor for broadband providers to comply with the 2015 Open Internet Order, otherwise known as the Net Neutrality Order. In the 2015 Open Internet Order, the Commission asked providers to give consumers their prices, performance, and network practices in a simple, easy-to-understand way—similar to nutrition labels. Below is the broadband label template. Read...

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USDA Grant Funds Rural Telemedicine and E-Learning

By Eric Frederick

 The USDA is making $19 million available to rural areas seeking to expand distance learning opportunities and telemedicine. The Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program gives schools, government groups, non-profits, businesses, and others the opportunity to obtain equipment and instruction that can benefit local students, teachers, doctors, and, most importantly, the community.  Nearly one fifth of America’s population resides in rural areas, as classified by the U.S. Census Bureau. These nearly 59.5 million people are spread over more than 90% of the nation’s land area, making it exceedingly difficult to concentrate...

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Fighting Cyber Attacks Nationally and Locally

By Connected Nation

As technology grows in importance and prevalence in business and in day-to-day activities, so do the risks involved in its use. Cyber attacks are becoming more common, more sophisticated, and more diverse, affecting entire industries and even countries collectively, all the way down to the individual user. Governments and law enforcement officials are now using the power of the Internet to fight its risks, by creating a more powerful security architecture and, most importantly, by keeping end users aware of the threats. Cyber attacks may range anywhere between annoying—such as email spam or viruses that create repetitive ads—to devastating,...

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