Published by 9&10 News on June 13, 2019
By Charlie Tinker
Whether you’re trying to run a business, doing your shopping online or just trying to get by and stay connected in this digital age, the internet is increasingly something we cannot do without.
Yet, many rural communities in Northern Michigan still lack critical access to broadband internet.
US Senator Gary Peters introduced a bi-partisan effort to make it happen.
This new bill, the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act, would require the FCC to collect data it would then turn into a coverage map.
Senator Peters argues existing maps from private providers paint a less than accurate picture of what internet access really looks like in rural areas, including throughout Northern Michigan.
The move would also give consumers, local and state governments the ability to challenge those maps and pinpoint problem spots.
All efforts geared to address and close what’s seen as a growing digital divide that puts rural users at a disadvantage.
“I view it the same as electricity,” Peters began. “Last century, we made a commitment as a country that everybody, no matter where you lived, had electricity. High speed internet is the electricity of this century… everybody needs to have access to it. It’s absolutely critical and we should look at this as an imperative.”
In a letter to the FCC, Peters also voiced concern over the lack of new waivers for colleges and universities to install new broadband.
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