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Recent News // Wexford County Recognized as Certified Connected Community

Friday, March 20, 2015

Wexford County completes technology plan aimed at bridging technology gap, boosting economy, paving the way for improved quality of life

Wexford County, MI – Today, the Wexford County Technology Planning Team and Connect Michigan present Wexford County as a certified Connected community and release its Technology Action Plan.

“The Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce works to support our regional economy through collaboration not only for the benefit of the business community, but various regional stakeholders” said Bill Tencza, Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce President and community champion. “We know that providing effective broadband access is an important part of that mix. Improvements to broadband lead to increased economic development opportunities that we have found through the Connected Community Engagement Program. Promoting investment in our public transportation and business infrastructure, including broadband connectivity, is a 2015 legislative guiding principle for the Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce.”

Wexford County has been working with Connect Michigan on the Connected Community Engagement Program. This initiative assesses the local broadband landscape, identifies connectivity gaps, and establishes technology-driven goals and objectives to increase broadband access, adoption, and use for families, organizations, and businesses throughout the community. Wexford County met the requirements necessary to achieve certified Connected community status.

“Leaders in Wexford County have been hard at work to increase the availability of broadband access for residents,” said Ken Hinton, Wexford County Administrator. “Our local Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee partnered with Connect Michigan and the Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce to complete a technology assessment and plan to improve existing opportunities for business, education, and telemedicine through encouraging investment by broadband providers in the County. Recognition as a certified Connected community reflects the vision of assuring access to the important technologies impacting our lives and our futures.”

Marcus A. Peccia, Cadillac City Manager, adds, “The City is proud to partner with Wexford County and the Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce on the Wexford County Broadband Certification Team. Becoming a certified community through the Connect Michigan initiative has significance for our community as we continue to strive to provide broadband connectivity for everyone and enhance the attractiveness of Cadillac and Wexford County to prospective new businesses and residents alike.”

"Congratulations to Wexford County on its Connected community certification," said Tom Ferree, Connected Nation President and COO. “The Wexford County Technology Planning Team is providing leadership that will ensure future technology success. Their studied and informed recommendations for relevant technology engagement will impact the cities of Wexford County’s economic growth and overall quality of life."

The Technology Action Plan sets general community-wide broadband connectivity goals to work toward which will support economic development and residential quality of life. Wexford County’s top goals from the new plan are to identify, map, and validate broadband demand in order to develop a business case for further expansion of broadband in Wexford County; complete a vertical assets inventory; facilitate a technology summit; develop or identify a broadband training and awareness program for the small and medium businesses of Wexford County; improve education through digital learning; and promote telemedicine in remote areas of Wexford County. 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.

Download the Press Release here. 

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About Connect Michigan:  Connect Michigan, in partnership with the Michigan Public Service Commission, is working to ensure that all Michiganders can experience the benefits of broadband. Technology, especially widespread access, adoption, and use, improves quality of life. More at 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. Visit http://connectmycommunity.org for more on the Connected program.