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Addressing Michigan’s Technology Challenges

Sharing perspectives for broadband development

A mixed group of public and private technology professionals came together in September to discuss the challenges and opportunities for expanding high speed Internet availability in northern Michigan.

The Michigan Public Service Commission's (MPSC) Telecommunications Director Robin Ancona and Senior Analyst Anne-Marie Clark along with Connected Nation's Stakeholder Relations Manager Cassie Ruhlman and Senior Technology Assessment Consultant Terry Holmes, were all in Traverse City to attend and present before the Telecommunications Association of Michigan ComPulse Conference.

While in the area the group had the opportunity to visit a fixed wireless operations facility in Elk Rapids, Michigan to get a sense of the regional infrastructure and an overview of current and potential broadband adopters. Members of the MPSC and Connect Michigan were able to provide insight about their respective organizational roles and perspectives on the future of telecommunications. Also in attendance at the facility tour included the village Mayor, local business owners and other interested citizens.

"It is not unique to see such involvement from a group of concerned citizens working together to better their community," said Holmes. "However, it is rare to witness the passion found in this group while striving to enhance their broadband options, thereby enhancing economic development opportunities in the region."

Cherry Capital Connection is under consideration for a Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) middle mile infrastructure grant that would support last mile delivery and the goals established by the Elk Rapids Area Maximization(ER-BAM) project.

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