Marquette County has been working with Connect Michigan
to improve broadband and Internet access and use throughout the county.
Those efforts recently resulted in the county becoming the first certified Connected Community in the U.P., and one of 11 in Michigan. The certificate comes through Connected Nation's Community Engagement Program and through the work of the Marquette County Broadband Initiative team, which is made up of members from government, education, medical and business fields.
"Broadband has been recognized for a long time as something that we need to improve," says Robert Eslinger, director of Northern Michigan University's Center for Rural Community and Economic Development, who is part of the broadband team. "This recognition demonstrates how a lot of people have been working on the issue in their own ways and really how those small pieces can fit together to make a big difference."
Now, the work is continuing with the announcement of a new technology action plan for the county, at an event hosted at Northern Michigan University
on Feb. 13 with Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO Steve Arwood scheduled to speak.
The new action plan sets community-wide goals for broadband connectivity that will support both economic development and residential use. Among its priorities are improving digital learning in schools and supporting school technology initiatives, developing a business case for future broadband expansion, and promoting telemedicine in remote areas of the county.
Writer: Kim Eggleston
Source: Northern Michigan University