Providing resources for communities and entrepreneurs to create and retain jobs in Antrim, Charlevoix & Cheboygan Counties.

Broadband Consortium exploring more infrastructure in NLEA-Represented Counties

Northern Lakes Economic Alliance  •  231-582-6482  

Eric Grandstaff, Broadband Consortium Staff Specialist & Consultant

The NLEA Broadband Consortium is working with its member counties to find ways in which high-speed Internet infrastructure (fiber-optic middle mile and gigabit speed wireless) can be implemented in rural areas that are not forecast to have such assets in the near future.
The NLEA Broadband Consortium’s Consultant, Eric Grandstaff, met with Antrim County officials at their regular evening meeting on Thursday, December 19, 2019, and addressed the full Antrim County Commission on broadband. Grandstaff talked about the applications of faster broadband’s impact on agriculture and tourism in Antrim County. Questions about the availability of broadband “infrastructure” (fiber-optic lines and gigabit high-speed wireless) and what would need to be built to effect better Internet services to the County.
“While our region is overwhelmingly blessed to have rural broadband providers building extraordinarily fast services, some areas will still not have those services unless local businesses and local units of government are proactive in approaches to this need,” said Eric Grandstaff, NLEA Broadband Consortium Staff Specialist & Consultant at the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance.
NLEA, through its three-county Broadband Consortium, assists its member counties and their businesses in obtaining fast “symmetric” connections (fast Internet both down and up) to help their businesses grow or adapt to new market conditions.
“We are fortunate that Great Lakes Energy, through its new Truestream subsidiary, has taken a humongous leap to provide exceptionally fast services. But, there will still be areas without those opportunities,” said Grandstaff.  “We need to network with area local units of government, with Internet service providers, fiber optic and wireless contractors, the USDA, the State of Michigan, local businesses, and business Internet subscribers to bring gigabit high-speed services to our region. We are gaining traction, but we need to continue conversations and push the envelope.”
For more information on the NLEA Broadband Consortium, contact Eric Grandstaff at, 231-582-6482.

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