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


NLEA Service Area Infrastructure Map

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation provides an interactive tool which layers various infrastructure characteristics including major highways, railways, airports and more, on a map of a selected area. To create your customized map, click here.

The Port of Cheboygan is a deep water sea port that can accommodate domestic vessels and international salt water vessels. Click below for details and contact information.Port of Cheboygan

Port of Cheboygan flyer

Broadband Internet

What is Broadband Internet?

A dial-up Internet connection is not Broadband, while the high-speed connection delivered to a large corporation must be Broadband. Perhaps the best way to define Broadband is to define some of those advantages. Users with a Broadband connection:

  • Can view typical Web pages in a few seconds rather than several 10’s of seconds
  • Can download E-Mail, photos, documents, and other typical files while listening to audio or video streams or browsing Web pages at the same time
  • Can exchange large documents in 10’s of seconds rather than 10’s of minutes or perhaps hours
  • Can have multiple computers accessing different destinations on the Internet at the same time without tying up regular telephone service
  • Can view video presentations and run interactive applications and games that dial-up connections simply don’t permit
  • Broadband connectivity to a business offers opportunities such as real-time commerce, on-line training, remote access to information, and better customer support. For many businesses, the cost of broadband services is easily offset by improved efficiencies and expanded opportunities.

What is the Status of Broadband Availability?

Merit Network has been working with organizations throughout the NLEA region to make high-speed internet (Broadband) available. Merit applied for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money for two expansion projects. Merit was awarded $115 million in two separate ARRA grants and are able to add more than 2,200 miles of high-speed internet fiber in Michigan. Much of this network construction will take place in northern lower Michigan!

Working with the NLEA is Merit’s Member Relations Manager for the Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Michigan, Eric Grandstaff of Petoskey. For the past 40 years Merit—hosted at the University of Michigan—has provided networking services to schools, colleges and universities, libraries, governmental entities, and hospitals. Now, partnering with several for-profit networking companies, Merit will be constructing highly cost-effective “middle mile” fiber optic networking to local for-profit and non-profit local Internet service providers (“ISP”). Once construction is completed, those local ISP’s will be able to offer residential and business Internet services in areas in Northern Michigan that are either un-served or under-served

NLEA is assisting local organizations, communities, and businesses to identify and communicate their needs and assets to maximize services for all. The availability of affordable broadband internet throughout our region will take a few more years, but this is a major component to our New Economy model.


Core Partners

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