State grants look to expand broadband Internet access in Michigan

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LANSING, MI (WILX) - Grant money from the state is being used to entice Internet service providers to expand high-speed, broadband Internet to under-served areas of Michigan.

The Department of Technology, Management and Budget is making available $20 million of grant funding to companies to help them bring Internet service to rural areas of Michigan that do not have access to high-speed Internet.

"Access to high-speed Internet is a must to compete in today’s society," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement Tuesday. "Connecting all Michigan communities with broadband service is about leveling the playing field for every child and small business in the state."

A map provided by the state shows large swaths of northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula lack broadband coverage. In mid-Michigan, significant portions of Barry, Jackson, Hillsdale and Lenawee counties lack coverage as well.

Applications close August 30 and awards will be announced in April 2020 with all projects completed by fall 2023.

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