ICYMI: Rural Michigan Democrats Celebrate Biden’s Historic Investment in Internet Infrastructure

“Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan infrastructure Law we have a lot to look forward to…this is going to benefit the next generation of Michigan residents,” said Livingston County Democrats Chair

Last week, the Michigan Democratic Party hosted a virtual press conference with the Livingston County Democratic Party Chair Judy Daubenmier and Allegan County Broadband Action Group Chairperson Austin Marsman to discuss President Biden’s efforts to expand access to high-speed internet. Thanks to the Michigan Democrats who voted for this unprecedented investment, rural communities across the state are bridging the digital divide. 

President Biden’s infrastructure plan will be a gamechanger for the 14% of Michiganders who currently lack access to broadband — and thanks to Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Democrats, these federal dollars will ensure every household, school, and business gets plugged in. 

Here’s a look at what Michiganders are reading about these crucial funds this weekend: 

MLive: $100 million from feds could bring critical broadband to rural Michigan, Dems say

“”Broadband is the new electricity. It’s necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to remain competitive in agriculture, to participate in school learning, and to get access to health care,” he said.

“Marsman said the federal investment in broadband in Michigan will help close a gap in access and create digital equality, even reducing cost in places where broadband already exists so more can afford the cost.”

Holland Sentinel: Allegan County broadband expansion from infrastructure bill a welcome sight

“The recently passed infrastructure bill included $65 billion in funding to improve broadband access throughout the U.S., particularly in rural areas where connectivity isn’t as common…

“In addition to the infrastructure bill, the American Rescue Plan Act passed in 2021 sent relief funding to governments, with broadband infrastructure being one of the possible spending items.”

WHMI: Event Highlights High-Speed Internet Access For Rural Communities

“Daubenmier said it’s really a question of equity because people have less opportunity when they have poor internet. If someone has internet, she said they can easily go online and apply for a job, order groceries, manage their finances or pay bills and handle other business. If not, Daubenmier said there are lots of obstacles and barriers in that a person must find some other means to access the internet, such as visiting a library, restaurant or coffee shop – all of which pose different challenges.

“It was stated the pandemic highlighted the digital divide as the country adapted to a virtual world and showed that some people were being left behind, including Michigan’s rural communities.”

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