Connected Nation’s community outreach and education programs have proven to be highly effective in Michigan’s continued strides toward more broadband connectivity and ultimately our state’s economic prosperity.
We thought we’d benefit from finding out where we stood. The whole point of the certification process is to identify strengths and weaknesses. Frankly, even if you didn’t get to the certification, you would still get a blueprint for moving forward to eliminate those weaknesses.
Through the Connected Community Engagement Program we have put together a plan for broadband access, use, and engagement. This is the first time our area has looked at improving broadband access and it’s been a tremendous tool in building improved access for the future.
We knew we had a problem, but it sat unaddressed for a number of years. We didn’t address it because we didn’t know how to start, where to go for help and besides most of our peers (rural counties) had the same issue. This is where Connected came in.
With guidance from Connected staff, we were able to bring key players to the table, conduct a community assessment and set priorities for moving forward to a high-speed future. In the months since, we have continued conversations and made progress towards some very exciting developments that I believe would not have been possible with the project.
Over the past thirteen months, Cherokee County has been working closely with Connected in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the broadband system in our county. I have been very impressed with their professionalism, with the depth of their knowledge base, the data they have at their disposal, and their research capability. The experience they bring from working with other communities that are striving to expand broadband infrastructure and usage has been invaluable to us.
The process of becoming a Certified Connected Community had many benefits for Urbandale. It brought together the stakeholders with an interest in Urbandale’s telecommunications infrastructure. It provided an opportunity to hear perspectives and ideas on how to improve Urbandale’s broadband status. Finally, the process and award provided the focus and impetus to identify and begin work on projects. In just a few months since being certified, Urbandale is making progress.
Broadband access is a crucial component of economic development. The Connected community certification program will facilitate the building of a comprehensive action plan for developing a technology-ready community.
St. Clair County was the third in Michigan and the sixth in the nation to obtain Connected certification. Along with certification, the county worked collaboratively on developing the St. Clair County Technology Action Plan. Our Action Plan is a roadmap for our broadband future. It details our current status and clearly outlines steps to take in order to fill the broadband gaps in the county. We are currently addressing the recommendations laid out in the plan. An unexpected benefit to our broad…
The communities served by the regional planning commission have benefited from the Connected Community Engagement Program. The program provided us with direct assistance from a staff member, innovative research, access to providers, broadband GIS mapping, and numerous other services and resources that were necessary and critical to the development of our county Technology Action Plans.
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