LANSING -- New research unveiled Tuesday by Connect Michigan shows that the broadband availability gap in Michigan is shrinking, with 97.33 percent of Michigan residents now having access to fixed broadband speeds of 3 megabits per second download and 768 kilobits per second upload.
That's up from 96.45 percent of Michigan residents having access to those speeds last October.
"Michigan continues to see marked improvements in broadband access", said Eric Frederick, Connect Michigan state program manager. "The proliferation of infrastructure coupled with energetic efforts to eliminate barriers to broadband adoption has produced positive results that are reflected in this study."
Nonprofit Connect Michigan has been working since 2009 to ensure that Michigan residents have access to the economic, educational, and quality of life benefits derived from increased broadband access, adoption, and use. Part of that work includes maintaining detailed analysis of broadband availability across the state to support broadband planning efforts.
Through its Connected Community Engagement Program, Connect Michigan is currently working with 18 communities across the state to support comprehensive community broadband planning efforts and provide technical assistance.
Among the findings of the new broadband availability research are:
* 97.33 percent of Michigan households can access broadband at advertised speeds of 3 Mbps download/768 Kbps upload (excluding mobile and satellite services).
* Broadband at the basic 768 Kbps download/200 Kbps upload tier is available to 99.05 percent of Michigan households, up from 98.71 percent last October (excluding mobile and satellite services), leaving approximately 36,603 households unable to connect to basic high-speed Internet.
* In terms of broadband competition, 95.29 percent of Michigan households have the ability to choose broadband service from two or more non-mobile broadband providers.
* With the addition of several new fixed wireless provider participants, as well as the installation of additional towers by existing wireless providers, an additional 122,742 Michigan households can now receive fixed wireless broadband service.
Last year, Connect Michigan released an innovative new broadband mapping tool called My ConnectView, offering unmatched views of Michigan's technology landscape. Residents and businesses are encouraged to use the interactive map to find area providers and help validate the data. To report that broadband is not available in a given area, consumers can fill out a broadband inquiry.
Connect Michigan's research was conducted as part of the State Broadband Initiative grant program forMichigan, funded by the United States Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The data were gathered in accordance with the requirements of the NTIA. The process begins by contacting all known providers in the state and providing information about the broadband mapping project. Information on broadband service areas is collected from each provider through voluntary participation and is subject to confidentiality protections.
Connected Nation strives to maintain a flexible mapping process to be able to collect data from providers in a variety of formats based on providers' technical capabilities and resources.
As the designated entity for broadband mapping and planning in the state of Michigan, 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 service in the state's underserved areas. For more information about what Connect Michigan is doing to accelerate technology in Michigan's communities, visit www.connectmi.org.
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