Michigan Spending $15 Million To Improve Community Internet Access
As we learned over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, internet access is pretty darn crucial to functioning through daily life.
No, not in the "OMG we can't live without the internet" or a social media addiction kind of way (that's a conversation for a different day).
Especially in the past year, we have learned that having internet access directly affects our own abilities and those of other people in our communities to continue making a living, to continue learning, to continue on as best as we can when things get tough.
That's why so many schools were using school buses to provide internet hotspots to students in areas that may not otherwise get internet access and plenty of other programs were put into place.
Connecting Michigan Communities (CMIC) - Grant Program
FOX 47 cites a press release in reporting this program was created with the purpose of getting internet services to underserved communities across Michigan.
"The Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB) is providing a grant opportunity to extend broadband service into unserved areas in Michigan," Michigan.gov explains. "The grant funds are available to projects that demonstrate collaboration to achieve community investment and economic development goals of the area impacted."
CMIC actually has actually awarded two rounds of state grant funding for the project, FOX 47 reports. Back in 2020 $11.9 million was given for 10 different projects and another $1 million was awarded in April of 2021 to four other projects.
Now, $15.3 million will be granted, marking CMIC's third round of funding they say is "meant to decrease the digital divide in Michigan."
What That $15 Million Will Go Towards
According to FOX 47, this money "will be used to support 20 projects that will add internet service to 6,700 locations" and officials say this move will also lead to $12.4 million in annual economic benefits.
All in all, while it is easy to sit back and think "oh, why not spend the money on this, this, or this...?" It is also just as easy to know the kinds of benefits this could help someone you may not even realize needs it.
Be it your coworker, your child's best friend who struggled throughout the entire school year, your neighbor or someone you don't even know at all. Internet, in this digital day and age, is not "just a luxury" like it used to be. More often than not, it is a necessity.
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