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Senator Stabenow stops at NMU, talks cybersecurity and EAN

Aug 19, 2021
Senator Debbie Stabenow
United States Department of Agriculture

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow was in Marquette this week to tour Northern Michigan University’s new Cybersecurity Institute.

She’s been working with NMU to expand access to high-speed broadband internet in rural areas through the school’s Educational Access Network. Stabenow said investments in high-speed internet were part of the infrastructure bill just passed in the Senate.

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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.

broadband internet wires
Alex Tihonov / Adobe Stock

The state is offering $20 million in grants to encourage internet companies to provide high-speed service to rural parts of Michigan. Pam Matelski directs the grant program. She says there are pockets all across the state that still don’t have high-speed service. She says that affects schools, agriculture, businesses, and health care in rural areas.

Ethernet cable
Unsplash

Michigan is lagging in broadband availability. The state is ranked 30th in the nation, and more than 350,000 households — mostly in rural areas — don't have access to that vital service.

In 2018, people who don't have effective, high-speed internet may not have access to news, social, job connections, schoolwork, health care, and so much more. 

Flickr User Justin Marty / Flickr

Microsoft Corporation and a rural broadband company want to bring broadband internet access to more people living in remote parts of Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Microsoft is collaborating with Packerland Broadband, based in Iron Mountain, Michigan, on an initiative to extend broadband internet service to more than 80,000 people mostly in northeast Wisconsin, but also across the Upper Peninsula.

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It’s been a busy week in Lansing, between Governor Rick Snyder calling for a variety of policies in the Detroit Free Press, and Democrats and Republicans working together on a controversial tax bill.

Ken Sikkema, senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants and former Republican Majority Leader in the Michigan Senate, and Vikki Barnett, former mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic legislator, joined Stateside to discuss the week’s political news.