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Recent News // Fiber-optic internet in rural dead zones considered

Friday, July 01, 2016

, Livingston Daily | Read the full article

Panelists discuss expanding high-speed broadband Internet infrastructure to more of rural Livingston County

How many rural residents and township officials will jump on board an initiative to install high-speed broadband internet infrastructure in neighborhoods with the worst internet connections in Livingston County?

That remains to be seen.

An idea being passed around is for townships to stop waiting for internet companies to come to them and start building their own infrastructure.

State, county, township and school officials were represented in a crowd of nearly a hundred rural residents who gathered Tuesday night at Fowlerville Junior High School for a panel discussion about extending fiber-optic lines to more countryside residents. The event was sponsored by Conway Township Supervisor Mike Rife; state Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg Township; state Rep. Hank Vaupel, R-Handy Township; state Rep. Lana Theis, R-Brighton Township; and Fowlerville Community Schools.

It is likely a collaborative group will form and meet sometime this fall to continue the discussion.

A point of agreement: Many residents living in the western and northern edges of the county are in bad spots for internet access, download and upload speeds, data affordability, and choices between different internet providers.

Large swaths of Conway, Cohoctah, Handy, Iosco and Unadilla townships and a few other spots around the county such as parts of Tyrone and Deerfield townships are considered underserved and qualify for federal grant funding.

Read the full article here.