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Blog // Connect Michigan

Getting Rural Michigan on the Broadband Bandwagon

By Wil Payton

For Michigan residents, it’s a given that broadband availability is a necessity for both economic development and for enhanced quality of life.

In rural sectors of the state with light population density — and natural geographic features like rolling hills and forested landscapes — rural communities are often challenged when it comes to building a business case for providers to expand access to their service in outlying areas. Additionally, partial service in a community can impact how an area’s availability is calculated.

Below is an excerpt from a article on this issue:

Tom Stephenson, community technology adviser with Connect Michigan, said his organization updates inventories of high-speed Internet choices in areas throughout Michigan every six months, drawing information from more than 100 providers operating in the state.

Stephenson noted that the data might not account for some gaps in service — for example, if part of a census block has high-speed Internet connections available, that entire area's population is used in calculating availability, even if the service doesn't reach certain addresses in it.

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