Lapeer County launches new effort to expand broadband access

LAPEER—The Lapeer County Broadband Committee has launched a new initiative to expand and improve high-speed internet access for all county residents, businesses, schools, healthcare facilities, and community organizations.

“We must take immediate action to provide more families and businesses with access to the critical resources and information they need,” said Quentin Bishop, executive director of the Lapeer Development Corp., the county’s economic development agency. “This work is so important because expanding and improving internet services across the county means that our children can take part in learning whether from home or the classroom; our small businesses can thrive by connecting to a global market; and our community and public safety organizations can more easily reach and respond to the needs of residents no matter where they live in the county.”

The local broadband committee is working in partnership with the national nonprofit Connected Nation, which has a mission to improve lives by identifying innovative solutions for expanding access, adoption, and use of broadband and its related technologies to all people. The committee is using CN’s Connected Community Engagement Program to develop a Technology Action Plan.

As part of this effort, and to ensure a plan that accurately reflects the need across the area, the committee is asking every individual, business, and community organization in the county to take 10 minutes to fill out an access survey at https://myconnectedcommunity.org/lapeer-county.

“The more input we have from our county residents, businesses, and community organizations the better this final plan will be,” said Bishop. “It means we will be able to better identify areas that have no internet access or need improved services while developing immediate and long-term solutions for expanding that access.  If there’s one thing the pandemic has showed us is that we must equip everyone in the county with the tools and access they need to do a variety of things from teleworking to accessing telehealth options. This is an opportunity for us to improve the quality of life for everyone across our county.”

The Connected Nation program has developed Technology Action Plans for more than 350 communities, counties, and regions across the country. Each one is tailored to an area’s specific opportunities and challenges. For more details, head to https://connectednation.org/connect-my-community/.

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