LANSING, Mich. (MIRS News) – Michigan was awarded more than $1.5 billion in federal funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to get broadband to everyone in the state, U.S. Sens. Gary Peters (D-Oakland County) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday.
The funding is part of President Joe Biden’s $65 billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program will be supervised by the Michigan High-Speed Internet (MIHI) Office.
“Today, we have won a game-changing investment to expand access to reliable, affordable high-speed internet to 210,000 more homes across Michigan,” Whitmer said.
She said over $700 million from federal funding had already been used.
Representatives from the Michigan Cable Telecommunication Association (MCTA) said $5 billion in private broadband investments had been spent on state infrastructure.
“Michigan’s cable industry looks forward to working with state leaders to ensure broadband investments are maximized to their fullest potential by prioritizing unserved and underserved areas and establishing guardrails to protect these funds from waste,” read an MCTA statement.
MIHI Office Chief Connectivity Officer Eric Frederick said Michiganders might start seeing the connections associated with the funding start to happen in early 2025.
“There is going to be a lot of construction activity in the space over the next five to six years,” Frederick said.
Stabenow called broadband an “essential service” that is used for work, school and doctor visits.
“Reliable, affordable high-speed internet is critical for all Michiganders, including in unserved and underserved communities,” Peters said.