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Blog // Connect Michigan

Michigan Farmers Need Broadband to be Competitive Locally, Nationally and Globally

By Wil Payton

Broadband is an essential utility for Michigan’s agricultural communities to compete like their urban counterparts. “Our farmers are competing in a global marketplace,” said Mat Smego, legislative counsel for Michigan Farm Bureau, in a recent MiBiz.com article.  “We need high-speed broadband access to be competitive from production to marketing.” An excerpt from this article pointed out that: Farmers with high-speed Internet access are able to take advantage of technology that is only a dream to their dial-up counterparts, and there are still pockets in Michigan in which people use an out-dated and slow dial-up connection. One of the...

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School Systems Are Developing Creative Partnerships to Fund Broadband Access

By Wil Payton

Minnesota schools are finding that by pooling resources with libraries, partaking in public technology forums and taking advantage of grant programs, they can overcome budget deficits to provide high-speed Internet access in their communities. The following excerpt, from an SCTimes.com article addresses the importance of broadband access for Minnesota schools and other school systems across the country: Broadband is being used in Minnesota schools for student testing, reports to the state, portals for parents to track their child’s work, and for students to take online classes, according to a December report from the Governor’s Task Force on...

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New Money Available for Rural Broadband Expansion

By Jeremy Thacker

Rural residents may see new Internet service coming their way thanks to grant money from the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Rural Development division just announced more than $10.3 million will be distributed among high-speed Internet providers. Interested providers must apply for the Community Connect grant program before June 18. The program already has several success stories to share, like the Tatitlek community on the Prince William Sound in Alaska. They are the kind of stories that are the reason Connect Michigan exists and why we’re working hard for the expansion of broadband access, adoption, and use across the...

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Petoskey voters consider bond sale to refresh school system’s 1990s-era computers, infrastructure

By Wil Payton

Think you would like to play Angry Birds on a 10 year old computer? Well just imagine teachers using this hardware, and out of date software, to incorporate online instructional tools in the curriculum. That’s what the voters in the Petoskey school district are contemplating as they prepare to vote on a bond sale proposed on the Tuesday, May 8, election ballot. Below is an excerpt from a Petoskey News.com article on the proposed bond sale: Petoskey schools’ last major technology funding initiative occurred in the late 1990s. Many of the computers acquired through it, now more than a decade old, remain in use around the district.That hardware...

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