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On the road with MIHI: 40 stops, thousands of miles, hundreds of opinions

Coldwater and Ann Arbor, Michigan (February 9, 2023) - The Michigan High-Speed Internet Office (MIHI) recently launched a listening tour dubbed the "MI Connected Future Tour." This ambitious, 40-stop tour will cross the state for the next several months—gathering input, feedback, and ideas from local residents, business owners, law enforcement, school leaders, and other stakeholders about the state of internet connectivity in Michigan.

"There are issues of affordability and [the need for] devices, and we're hearing similar things from some communities, but the way they experience those problems are very different from one small town to a suburb to an urban center," said Eric Frederick, Chief Connectivity Officer, MIHI, during a stop in Coldwater, Michigan. "They are very different challenges that are being faced by our communities. We really want to hear what those different challenges are. So, while the challenges at a high level may be relatively similar, each community experiences them differently."

Connected Nation's Broadband Solutions Advisor, Dan Manning, was there to provide support the tour as it wound its way from Coldwater on January 31 and into Ann Arbor a few days later on February 2. That included helping with set up, signing up attendees, and gathering information during the listening sessions.

"These meetings really are an intent to get those people together, have some discussions about those big connectivity issues and what potential ideas they have on how we might be able to solve them," said Manning. "Then, we can take all of that and use that to build in our plan for the next five years for what we're going to do across the state."

Learn more about this historic tour by listening to this podcast or watching the below video to hear what local stakeholders had to say about connectivity in their home towns. To register for or track the next stop on the listening tour, head to this webpage.