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Recent News // News Release: Livingston County: Certified In The Connected Community Program

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Technology assessment results announced at the annual Livingston County Economic Development meeting

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Howell, MI – Connect Michigan applauds the efforts of Livingston County for achieving certification under Connected Nation’s Connected Community Engagement Program.

Results from a community technology assessment, undertaken by the county, along with strategies for broadband expansion, were released today before 110 attendees at Cleary University in Howell, Michigan. Michigan Public Service Commissioner, Sally Talberg was a presenter at the event.

“This is an exciting milestone for Livingston County and our economic future,” said Ceci Marlow, chairperson, Advantage Livingston Placemaking Committee. “Broadband is the foundation for the new economy of entrepreneurship, Michigan's most exciting opportunity.  As a director of a public library, I also know that broadband is critical support for online learning—growing our next generation's leaders through technology and connection.”

Livingston County began working with Connect Michigan in the spring of 2012, by incorporating the Connected Community Program into the Advantage Livingston’s Placemaking Committee. Over the past year, the committee has reviewed current broadband coverage and adoption data, conducted surveys of local public institutions, introduced new broadband providers, completed the program’s broadband assessment and developed an initial action plan. Based on these actions and high scoring through the assessment, Livingston County has achieved the distinction of becoming a Certified Connected Community, the 5th county in the state to qualify for this recognition. 

To obtain Connected certification, Livingston County had to meet certain benchmark scores in the areas of broadband access, adoption, and use based on the National Broadband Plan that demonstrate it is a technologically advanced community.

“Broadband coverage is a key economic development tool for any community,” said Pat Convery, president of the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce. “To have this designation for Livingston County makes us even more attractive to entrepreneurs and existing business people. Congratulations to the Advantage Livingston Placemaking Committee for their work on this.”

As part of a continuing effort to foster broadband access, adoption and use in the state, on October 24, Connect Michigan is hosting the 2013 Michigan Broadband Conference. This event is being held in conjunction with the Library of Michigan. Sponsoring partners include Frontier Communications, Comlink, United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development, Prima Civitas, Comcast Internet Essentials, LocaLoop, Michigan Farm Bureau, and CenturyLink. In-kind sponsors include the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan and the Michigan Public Service Commission. This forum will provide residents, businesses, and communities an opportunity to learn best practices for expanding broadband and moving Michigan to the forefront of the digital economy. Community, state, and industry leaders are encouraged to register. For more information on the conference click here.

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About Connect Michigan:  As the designated entity for broadband mapping and planning in the state of Michigan, Connect Michigan is a public-private partnership between the Michigan Public Service Commission and Connected Nation to work with local governments, businesses, and citizens in the goal of increasing broadband service in the state’s underserved areas. For more information about what Connect Michigan is doing to accelerate technology in Michigan’s communities, visit www.connectmi.org.

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Connected Nation developed the Connected Community Engagement Program to help guide a community through an assessment of its overall broadband and technology status. Connected certified communities have measurably demonstrated their proficiency for effective Access, Adoption, and Use of broadband-supported technologies. Connected Nation through its partners provides a national platform for recognizing those communities that excel across these important benchmarks. Funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), this effort is part of the State Broadband Initiative. http://www.connectednation.org/get-connected