The state of Michigan is awarding $12.7 million in grants to companies to offset some of the cost and encourage them to expand broadband internet in rural areas of Michigan.
One of the grants is going to Marq6 Broadband to expand service in Schoolcraft and Delta counties in the U.P.
John Lindroth runs an insurance agency in Manistique, Michigan. His business is right in the city, so his internet access is fine. But he says many people outside the city really need high-speed internet.
"People that have thoughts of opening a home-based business — people who want to relocate here and start a business — not to mention school kids particularly now with the pandemic learning that everybody's fighting with," Lindroth says.
Lindroth says he views the grants as a wise use of state taxpayer dollars, given how many people it helps to improve their financial situation and quality of life.
State officials say this round of grants will extend broadband internet access to nearly 11,000 households, businesses, schools and libraries.
The state estimates that more than 1.2 million Michiganders do not have a permanent fixed broadband connection at home, resulting in $1.8 to $2.7 billion in potential economic benefit left unrealized among disconnected households.