New tool helps chart areas available to expand broadband infrastructure

Broadband interactive map

A city street

It is no secret that a hurdle for all of northern Michigan and rural communities throughout the state is access to high speed internet. To combat the issue, the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments (NEMCOG) has rolled out a new interactive tool—a regional vertical asset inventory. In partnership with Connected Nation Michigan, an organization working so all can receive the benefits of broadband, has created an interactive map to help identify and catalog public and private areas that are available for expansion of broadband internet infrastructure.

The map provides information and photos related to each location, as well as the broadband availability. In a press release published by Jessica Denson at Connected Nation Michigan , Diane Rekowski, executive director of NEMCOG says,“a major obstacle in the region to not only our local economy but also our quality of life is the inaccessibility of high-speed internet in many areas of the region…This Vertical Asset Inventory assists internet service providers (ISPs) in locating towers for possible internet service deployment. Our thanks to CN Michigan for completing the inventory, field work and web portal. All of us within the NEMCOG are extremely grateful that this important tool is completed and now available to those who can help expand access to local residents and businesses.”

Michigan State University Extension partner Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) utilizes this data to educate communities and businesses on their options for broadband.

Michigan State University Extension has had a unique relationship with the regional economic development organization Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) for more than 20 years. Recognizing the strength of combining resources, this partnership focuses on economic development, entrepreneurship growth and community infrastructure throughout a four-county region in the northwest Lower Peninsula, specifically Antrim, Charlevoix, and Cheboygan counties. As a result, the NLEA utilizes resources offered through MSU Extension as it provides leadership to state-wide programs sponsored by MSU Extension.

To view the map and to learn more about the NEMCOG broadband efforts and the locations that are covered and broadband availability click.

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