High-speed internet for all: Midland County is getting connected

A reliable, high-speed internet connection isn’t a “want” anymore — it’s a necessity. That’s why the Midland Area Community Foundation (MACF) and the Midland Business Alliance formed the Midland County Broadband Committee, in partnership with Connected Nation, a nonprofit, to bring broadband internet to everyone.

 

“Broadband connection is essential to have a community where all can thrive,” says Sharon Mortensen, president and CEO of MACF. “This is even more evident while we deal with the pandemic and the increased need for connectivity. We are pleased to engage in this work with stakeholders from across the community as we work toward our ultimate goal of ensuring access to all.”

 

The committee is composed of community members across a range of sectors, including agriculture, education, residential, local government and public health. Together, they root out “dead spots” and assess the areas with the most needs.

 

This is where the input of Midland County community members are needed. Filling out this survey will help the committee assess the County’s needs. The survey will be open at least until the end of the year.

“Midland County has relatively good broadband coverage compared to other counties in the state,” says Dan Manning, community technology advisor for Connection Nation Michigan. “But there are many areas that are still without access to broadband service, or are at least “underserved” — meaning that they can’t get sufficient speed or bandwidth to support their residents and businesses.”

Dan Manning, community technology advisor at Connected Nation, is working with the Midland County Broadband Committee to bring broadband access to the County.Midland County is in the assessment phase. After enough data are collected, the committee will develop a Technology Action Plan. The plan will involve working with local providers to implement the best solutions.

 

So far, Connected Nation Michigan has worked with at least 50 out of 80 of Michigan’s counties to improve broadband access.

 

“Midland County should be applauded for pursuing good broadband service across their entire county, for all residents and businesses, by undertaking this project to help support their local economy, K-12 schools and online learning, teleworking (work from home), telehealth (remote healthcare) and so many other needs,” says Manning.

 

Midland County community members are strongly encouraged to take the Connected Nation survey before the end of the year to help the committee assess the needs in the County.

Read more articles by Crystal Gwizdala.

Crystal Gwizdala grew up in the Tri-Cities and enjoys broadcasting all the positive change happening in Midland. As Assistant Editor for Catalyst Midland, her favorite topics are environment, wellness, mental health, and the arts. As a human, Crystal is a serial hobbyist: hiking, drawing, yoga, and playing music. Her work can be seen in The Detroit Free Press, Midland Daily News, and The Delta Collegiate. To see what Crystal’s up to, you can follow her on Twitter @CrystalGwizdala.
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