Feds award $56M for high-speed internet service in rural Michigan

The Biden administration is awarding Michigan service providers $55.7 million through a grant and loan program to bring high-speed internet access to those without it in rural areas of the state.

The federal funding is part of $759 million announced for 24 states Thursday by the Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect Program, which is for applicants that serve areas without access to service at speeds of 100 megabits per second.

Three Michigan applicants will receive the grant funds, including $34.5 million for the Upper Peninsula Telephone Co. to connect an estimated 1,625 people, 69 farms, 40 businesses and two educational facilities to high-speed internet in the UP, according to USDA. Those sites are located in Dickinson, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, Menominee and Ontonagon counties.

The Michigan Central Broadband Company LLC is set to receive $14.9 million to connect 360 people, 52 farms and seven businesses high-speed internet in Crawford, Kalkaska, Otsego and Près Isle counties, according to USDA.

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