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Recent News // Broadband is now available in Good Hart

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Good Hart, MI – High-speed Internet service is now available to a significant number of residents in Good Hart, Michigan. This is a notable development in the unincorporated Emmet County community, on the shore of Lake Michigan, where residents have strived to secure broadband service for over 15 years.

The HARBOR Inc. Broadband Team, originally formed as the HARBOR Inc. high-speed Internet committee, has been working, since 2007, to facilitate the process of bringing connectivity to area homes and businesses.

The team is now a participant in the Connect Michigan Connected community certification program, an initiative that offers a comprehensive way to bridge the digital divide by building community partnerships to assess broadband access, adoption, and use issues in the area.

Ami Woods is a Good Hart resident and a participant on the HARBOR Inc. Broadband Team. At a March meeting, she met the owner of Cherry Capital Connection (CCC), a northern Michigan Internet provider in Elk Rapids, which is using a commercial microwave technology to provide Internet service to areas throughout Northern Michigan. Through a brief conversation, it was determined that CCC could potentially provide service to the area.

“I was skeptical because our wait for such service as a community has sadly been over fifteen years now,” said Ami.  “However, CCC came out to Good Hart that same day. By March 21, the owner had successfully installed a test unit at my parent's house for us to check his service.”


The provider has a transmission tower in between Petoskey and Charlevoix that can reach Good Hart. One limitation with the service is that to reach the most residents, they need to establish neighborhood redistribution points to bounce their signal from point to point.

Ami and her mother, Carolyn Sutherland, began a series of conversations with CCC on how to best service the greatest number of residents in the area and they included Jeff Woerner with the Greater Good Hart Association.

Ami’s parents have a store in Good Hart that just happens to have an existing tower in the rear. That tower began to figure into the service equation quite nicely as Carolyn agreed to offer complimentary use of her tower in order to provide service to residents. The tower is grandfathered regarding zoning, and requires a minimal upgrade, which the Greater Good Hart Association is funding and will be reimbursed for as residents sign up for service. 

Carolyn agreed to sign a free of charge, long term, agreement to allow for the upgrading and use of the infrastructure, at no cost, in order to provide Internet service to a greater number of residents in Good Hart. 

To cover an appreciable part of Good Hart, CCC will improve existing infrastructure near the Good Hart General Store and develop small neighborhood redistribution points throughout the Association. 

The Greater Good Hart Association is investing approximately $3,500 to help underwrite the costs to provide needed infrastructure equipment required to provide service to Good Hart residents. The Association will receive reimbursement of the costs from CCC as new customers sign up for service. 

“Discussions with other area residents on use of their existing towers are also ongoing,” said Ami. “The goal for all involved is to offer service to the greatest number of people in our area.”

“The HARBOR, Inc. Broadband Team will continue to facilitate discussions and foster collaborative projects among technology service providers, governmental entities, community members, and others until quality, affordable high speed internet service is available throughout our service area, “ said Rachel Smolinski, HARBOR, Inc. Executive Director.  “We welcome the opportunity to work with all technology providers that are interested in providing service in the area.”