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Recent News // Internet in the countryside: It stinks

Thursday, March 17, 2016

There used to be an Internet satellite dish graveyard at Jason and Eliane Zawacki's Conway Township home in the rural northwest corner of Livingston County. Some of their son's buddies scrapped them for parts.

"We switch all the time," Jason Zawacki said.

"I would have to say that internet is our biggest complaint about living in the country. It's absolutely ridiculous," he said.

The family lives in a bad spot when it comes to Internet speed and limited choices between different providers. He said they love living in the countryside, but high-speed cable Internet was just not available where they live and satellite Internet was not working for them.

He said his wife has sometimes had to use public Internet connections to do administrative work for their home-based flooring business β€” taking trips to a nearby village library in Fowlerville.

"It has put a strain on us," Zawacki said.

Internet service can be particularly sketchy along the western and northern edges of Livingston County, which are mostly rural. Depending on your address and coverage options, it can be slow, intermittent or expensive.

Several townships are exploring options for extending fiber-optic cable to more residents who love living a countryside lifestyle and still want to stream videos, upload homework assignments and keep up with modern times.

Federal grants to several Internet providers that serve Michigan could mean more broadband cable could be coming to more rural parts of the county. It is not yet known which neighborhoods in the state will benefit from Federal Communications Commission's Connect America Fund phase II money. However, the FCC has published a map showing eligible areas.

Read the full article here: