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

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Technology assessment results presented

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Big Rapids, MI – Connect Michigan commends the efforts of Mecosta 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 at the Public Safety Building in Big Rapids, MI.

“We realize the importance of reliable Internet service in today’s economy” said  Jennifer Heinzman, executive director, Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce. “Businesses benefit by increased productivity, efficiency, more cost-effective promotion and the ability to reach a global market place. In order to stay competitive, we need access to the best technology available and have offered our full cooperation in attaining it.”

Participating in the ‘Connected’ program means Mecosta County has gone through an extensive assessment of its overall broadband and technology innovation. The Technology Action Plan sets general community-wide broadband connectivity goals that will support economic development and residential quality of life.

Mecosta County’s top goals from the new plan are to develop a digital literacy and low‐cost broadband program, develop a broadband awareness program focused on agricultural businesses, host website and social media classes for local businesses, and expand wireless hotspots. The new plan gives the community step-by-step action items to make sure that the goals are met. The plan will also support future broadband expansion and programs that will ensure the community maintains widespread Internet access, adoption, and use.

To obtain Connected certification, Mecosta County had to meet certain benchmark scores based on the National Broadband Plan that demonstrate it is a technologically advanced community.

“We are thrilled to have been involved in this project and are excited to aid in these types of advancements for our members and our community,” said Heinzman.  “We are extremely grateful for Connect Michigan’s efforts and are elated to receive this designation in Mecosta County.”

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. 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.

Download the Press Release

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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

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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.