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Closing the Gap: Private, Public Efforts Underway to Bring Internet to Rural Areas.

By: Kaitlin Ryan, The Alpena News

ALPENA — The lack of broadband availability is more than an inconvenience in northern Michigan, it is an obstacle to growth, local internet providers said.

Without accessibility to the online world, communities are cut off from a wealth of information, connection to people, business opportunities, and general technological advances, providers said. It also prevents digital literacy and can hold people back from functioning in new locations where everyday functions are more aligned with modern technologies.

Large areas across Alpena, Presque Isle, Montmorency and Alcona counties lack access to high-speed internet, and it remains a barrier to basic developments, officials said.

However, before a solution can be identified, the variables lending to that technology gap must be identified.

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