Rural broadband initiative launched

Published 7:50 am Friday, December 2, 2005

By Staff
LANSING - In response to Governor Jennifer M. Granholm's charge to expand affordable broadband access throughout the state by 2007, the Michigan Broadband Development Authority (MBDA) today announced they are seeking financing applications to expand such services into the state's most rural and underserved regions.
In eligible regions, qualifying broadband providers may receive 4 percent loans with interest-only draw periods of up to 24 months. Providers will work with local government and economic development organizations to qualify their proposals.
The State is encouraging regional leaders to creatively utilize this solicitation to attract more broadband investment into their regions. Schools, government offices and other large users of high-speed Internet services in underserved regions are being encouraged to leverage community-wide access by serving as anchor tenants for providers willing to expand services through out their area. It is hoped these entities will partner with providers to lower the cost of such infrastructure, by providing access to towers and other structures to support community-wide deployment.
This program is intended to support and encourage such innovation.”
Michigan Department of Labor &Economic Growth (DLEG) Director David C. Hollister said, “While much broadband investment has taken place in Michigan's more populated regions and the MBDA has helped impact service and affordability in more than 300 cities, this focused effort makes rural and underserved regions the priority of the Authority. This is a positive new step to build upon the successes of the MBDA.”