LANSING — The Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the broadband advocacy organizations Connect Michigan and the Connected Nation Exchange have launched an interactive mapping application for locating Michigan’s fastest digital infrastructure.
The app, Michigan Connects, is available at www.michiganbusiness.org/broadband.
The app enables site selectors, economic development professionals, corporations, entrepreneurs, and local government officials to quickly identify Michigan communities with the fastest Internet connections.
Officials with the three organizations say finding locations with fiber connections is critical as Michigan and its city-regions compete nationally and internationally for jobs, talent, and workforce investment.
“Fiber optic broadband availability is more critical than ever as employers decide where to locate and broadband companies decide when and where to extend services,” said Brian R. Mefford, founder and CEO of CNX, Inc. “Michigan has established a leadership role in making this valuable information easily accessible and we are already witnessing the tangible impact on job creation and broadband expansion. These examples will continue to grow as the Michigan fiber app becomes more popular over time.”
Internet connectivity at a site is no longer an afterthought for businesses looking to locate in the state. In order to address the need, the app provides users with a list of broadband providers that fall into three categories:
* Carriers with fiber optic networks within a quarter of a mile of the user’s click or address;
* Carriers offering broadband service at speeds of 100 Mbps or faster by any technology platform; and
* Carriers with fiber optic networks in the municipality where the user clicked or the address is located.
Michigan companies are already taking advantage of this real-time data source for locating service. Connor Sports Wood Mill, located in Amasa in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, needed a high-speed Internet connection to link offices and production locations. Using the new Michigan Connects map, along with assistance from Connect Michigan, Connor Sports was presented with every option for Internet service available.
From this information, Connor Sports established a contract with Baraga Telephone for a new fiber connection to be installed as soon as the ground thaws in the spring.
“Being a local communications utility provider, like many other Michigan businesses, we are committed to the prosperity of our area,” said Koray Inal, vice president of Baraga Telephone. “We continuously invest in our infrastructure to bring competitive and quality service to our customers, which will result in Connor Sports getting the broadband connectivity their business needs.”
Additionally, Michigan’s broadband industry benefits from the data, using it as a resource in expansion planning and network build-out into underserved areas. Last-mile providers and rural communities will find valuable information for finding fiber connections to expand or upgrade existing facilities to connect all Michigan residents, businesses, and institutions.
Using the new Michigan Connects map, users can find a comprehensive list of high-speed network connectivity throughout the state, among other key features, including:
* Detailed data and analytics about last mile and long haul fiber optic networks from commercial and public-sector providers;
* Resources and information designed to support site selection for bandwidth-intensive enterprises and industries, including data center operations;
* Fiber optic and last mile broadband data provided by 100+ of Michigan’s telecommunications carriers, searchable to street level address or point-and-click coordinates;
* Drill-down capabilities which provide data for key demographics, local schools, libraries, healthcare facilities, government properties, and public safety; and
* Economic development and job support resources, programs, and physical facilities aggregated into a single, easy-to-use map.
More about CNX at www.cnx.io.
Connect Michigan, in partnership with the Michigan Public Service Commission, is working to ensure that all Michiganders can experience the benefits of broadband. Technology, especially widespread access, adoption, and use, improves quality of life. More at www.connectmi.org.
For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit MichiganBusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org, where more than 83,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.