Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist speaks over the Internet during Marquette visit

The Michigan High Speed ​​Internet Office was announced today by Lt. gov. Garlin Gilchrist II on the MI Connected Future statewide audio tour to gather input from Michigan residents on how best to prioritize the estimated $1.6 billion the state will receive to make it affordable, equitable and reliable High speed internet access throughout the state with a stop at Northern Michigan University.

“Affordable, high-speed Internet is key to accessing education, economic opportunity, health care and more for Michiganders,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “Through the MI Connected Futures Tour, we are connecting with people in communities across our state to find a way forward and build on the work we have done to bring high-speed internet to more than 23,000 unserved locations connect. We must work together to build a Michigan where everyone is connected.”

More than 30% of households and businesses either do not have access to an Internet connection, cannot afford one, or lack the skills and technologies required to connect to the Internet.

“As the MI Connected Future tour continues, we applaud the Michiganders who are stepping up to make their voices heard, gather and leverage invaluable feedback on the high-speed internet challenges facing every region and community to shape our state’s broadband future,” said Susan Corbin, director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “As the tour continues, we encourage more residents to join us and share their feedback, which will play an integral part in the creation of the Michigan Five-Year Action Plan and the Michigan Digital Equity Plan.”

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MIHI seeks community input and feedback on the internet needs that matter most to the state’s communities, particularly on issues such as affordability, accessibility, digital skills development, and access to internet-enabled devices. Attendees can look forward to actively participating in the development of the Michigan Five-Year Action Plan and the Michigan Digital Equity Plan. The MI Connected Future Tour expects thousands of Michiganders to attend more than 40 events in cities and communities across the state in 2023.

“Investments of this magnitude start with a good plan, and that’s why each stop on this community tour is a critical step in our process,” said Eric Frederick, Michigan High-Speed ​​Internet Office’s chief connectivity officer. “Our office’s mission is to create a more digitally equitable state where every Michigan native can use technology to improve the quality of their lives, and we are confident that this work will have a major impact on hundreds of thousands of Michiganns.”

The event took place at Northern Michigan University, which relies on broadband to help more than 7,000 students excel in over 170 different undergraduate programs across multiple fields and departments, as well as over 25 graduate programs.

“We are pleased, Lt. gov. Gilchrist and the MIHI office here in Marquette,” said Ryan Soucy, Senior Planner at Central UP Planning and Development (CUPPAD). “Marquette County and communities throughout the Central Region are struggling to access affordable high-speed Internet. It’s reassuring to know that today’s discussions will have a direct impact on our communities and Michigan as a whole.”

This investment will be made available through the bipartisan Infrastructure Act’s Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program.

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Learn more about the MI Connected Future Tour and register at

Highlights of Michigan’s efforts to improve high-speed Internet for homes and businesses

Provided high-speed Internet access to 23,048 homes, businesses, and community institutions such as schools and libraries since taking office. Set a federal goal of providing 100% high-speed Internet access and 95% household adoption in the next five years. Delivering high-speed Internet access to more than 18,000 homes and businesses through the Connecting Michigan Communities Grant Program. Utilized over $700 million in federal funding and signed into the Building Michigan Together Plan, which invested $249 million to connect more families and small businesses to fast, reliable, high-speed Internet that meets their needs. Office of Rural Development established to focus on growing rural economy, including through collaborations with Michigan High-Speed ​​Internet Office to promote high-speed Internet connectivity. Mapped high-speed Internet access in all 83 counties, laying the groundwork for an investment of over $1.5 billion in federal funds for broadband over the next 5 years.