Genesee and Mason counties earn broadband certification

August 31, 2016

Contact: Judy Palnau, 517-284-8300
Agency: Michigan Public Service Commission

LANSING, Mich. - Genesee and Mason counties are the latest two communities to earn "connected" community certification from Connect Michigan and the Connected Community Engagement Program, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) said today.

"Michigan now has 18 communities that have earned the right to be called 'connected certified,'" said Sally Talberg, chairman of the MPSC. "That distinction only goes to communities that have developed a broadband and technology plan to expand broadband access, adoption and use. Communities that have pursued the coveted 'connected' designation do so because they understand their success includes access to reliable high-speed networks, digital literacy of residents and the use of online resources locally for business, agriculture, government and leisure."

The Genesee County broadband initiative team developed a technology action plan with seven priorities, including the pursuit of business and community development opportunities through the promotion of the area’s significant broadband infrastructure; expanding community literacy programs to include digital literacy training; and establishing an entrepreneurial and technology hub to support the community, among others.

The Mason County broadband team identified five priorities in its technology action plan. Priority projects include developing public-private partnerships to deploy broadband service, identifying broadband training programs for small and medium businesses, and creating local jobs via teleworking, among others.

"Connected certification is not the end of the journey for these communities," said Eric Frederick, Connect Michigan executive director. "Connected certified communities have broadband and technology issues like many others; the difference is that 'connected' communities have committed to developing a technology action plan to create a more digitally inclusive community."

Connect Michigan is a public-private partnership between the Michigan Public Service Commission and Connected Nation to work with local governments, businesses, and citizens in the goal of increasing broadband access, adoption and use. For more information on the Connected Community Engagement Program, visit: www.connectmycommunity.org.

The MPSC has issued a consumer tips sheet on broadband availability in Michigan and other helpful information.

For more information about the MPSC, please visit www.michigan.gov/mpsc or sign up for one of its listservs to keep up to date on MPSC matters.