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Manistee County News

Posted on: March 19, 2021

Connecting Manistee County

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Connecting Manistee County Launches Broadband Survey

For additional questions, please contact: 

Steve Fosdick, (231) 510-0814

 (MANISTEE COUNTY, MI March 16th, 2021) Connecting Manistee County is a grassroots collaborative effort to provide better broadband internet access to Manistee County. They are launching a Broadband internet access survey for Manistee County residents that will be open for the next three months. The survey will help this group put data together around where and what internet access issues Manistee County residents are facing. The results of which will help inform the Committee to make decisions and/or recommendations for solutions.

Broadband internet access is not a new issue for Manistee County. COVID has highlighted the importance of broadband internet access for vital response efforts from multiple sectors including education and healthcare. The cross-sector group has recently come together to begin to explore how we as a community could tackle the complicated connectivity issue. Spearheaded by Manistee County resident Steve Fosdick, current members include: Les VanAlstine, Karen Goodman, Barb Zimmerman, Lynda Beaton, Rob Carson, Ben Snider, Barry Lind, Glenn Zaring, Stacie Bytwork, Rose Fosdick, Chelsea Harvey, and Lisa Sagala. The committee is open to any interested Manistee County residents.

“Access to and use of the internet has become an integral component of everyday life in the 21st century. Digital information has reshaped how individuals participate in nearly every dimension of society. It is imperative that Manistee County leverage broadband network access to eliminate the homework gap and improve education, socio-economic equality, telemedicine, public safety and economic development to maintain and grow the quality of life for Manistee residents.” (MERIT “Michigan Moonshot” quote)

“At least 368,000 homes in Michigan lack access to broadband. This equates to 27% of households in the state with school-age children.  Low population densities and rough terrain present low returns on investment for commercial providers to serve these rural communities. Additionally, flawed methods of data collection by the Federal Communications Commission produce inaccurate and overestimated connectivity information, which acts as a disqualifier for many federal, state and foundation funding sources.” (MERIT “Michigan Moonshot” quote)

“And because of this we need your input by filling out the survey.” said Fosdick.   “We want all Manistee County residents and businesses to have access to affordable (even low-income affordability), high speed and reliable internet services.  The METRO Act requires us to conduct this survey in order to show the need throughout the county for these services to be able to qualify for State and Federal Infrastructure grants and low interest loans that may be available to build the necessary infrastructure to give us this.”

 Results of the survey will be mapped by Western Land Services, a local company with expertise in geographic information systems (GIS). 

This effort has been a true community effort and collaboration thus far.  Funding for this Survey has come from West Shore Community College, and the Manistee ISD.

To complete the survey, use your phone with the QR code below or visit our Facebook Page “Connecting Manistee County.” Paper copies are available at the West Shore Community College’s downtown Manistee location and will also be available at other locations around the county (just look for the “Connecting Manistee County” posters). If taking the survey online or from your phone, please try to complete it at home where you can test your internet speed, but if you can’t we would still like you to take the survey and use your best estimates. 

“We need as many Manistee County households as possible to complete the survey to give us the best data, and chances to find solutions! Our goal is to survey at least 20 percent of households in Manistee County” said Fosdick. “Please take the 5 minutes, and help us connect Manistee County.” 

“Change happens when the right collaborators and the right leaders come together at the right time for the right reason.  The time is now.”    (MERIT “Michigan Moonshot” quote)

 Additional information:

 QR Code: 

Simply hold phone up to QR with camera on, and it will pull up the link to the survey!

Or visit our Facebook Page “Connecting Manistee County”.

http://gis.westernls.com/gismap/ManisteeBroadbandSurvey

 Connecting Manistee County is also collaborating and partnering regionally to seek collaborative solutions. 

For those who have a Benzie Address, please visit:  https://www.benzieedc.com/broadband

Mason County Address: gis.westernls.com/gismap/MasonBroadbandSurvey

Lake County Address: https://www.myconnectedcommunity.org/lake-county-1/ 

 

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