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Otsego County, MI

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Connect Michigan applauds the efforts of Otsego County for achieving certification under Connected Nation’s Connected Community Engagement Program.

Results from a community technology assessment undertaken by the county, along with strategies for broadband expansion, were released today at the University Center in Gaylord, MI.

"The Connected Community Certification shows how dedicated Otsego County is to growth and development,” said Kristy Kelly, project champion for the Otsego County Planning Team.  “Broadband connectivity helps to create a better business environment, increase economic development, and improve areas such as healthcare, education, and government. Our access, adoption, and use of broadband are outstanding and we can use this certification as a platform to further improve Otsego County.”

Participating in the Connected program means Otsego County has gone through an extensive assessment of its overall broadband and technology innovation. The Technology Action Plan sets general community-wide broadband connectivity goals that will support economic development and residential quality of life.

Otsego County’s top goals from the new plan are to create local jobs via teleworking opportunities, develop a broadband awareness program focused on agricultural businesses, develop or identify broadband training and awareness programs for small and medium businesses, facilitate a technology summit, and pursue next generation 911 upgrades. The new plan gives the community step-by-step action items to make sure that the goals are met. The plan will also support future broadband expansion and programs that will ensure the community maintains widespread Internet access, adoption, and use.

To obtain Connected certification, Otsego County had to meet certain benchmark scores based on the National Broadband Plan that demonstrate it is a technologically advanced community.

“Approximately ten years ago, the Gaylord community came together to build its own fiber network known as UCMAN,” said George E. Griffin, Ed.D., a professor at Spring Arbor University. “This endeavor built partnerships leveraged around a common goal - improving connectivity for schools and infrastructure. We are excited about the technology based future of our county and appreciative of the recognition we are now receiving from Connect Michigan and the Michigan Public Service Commission.”