Michigan Scores $61M Federal Grant to Build Hundreds of Miles of High-Speed Internet

By Kyle Kaminski

June 16, 2023

All told, the state of Michigan has now received more than $200 million in federal investments geared toward expanding high-speed internet access under the Biden administration. 

LANSING—An eight-figure grant awarded this week from the federal government aims to help continue building out an affordable, high-speed internet network across Michigan—and state officials said it’ll help lower costs and ensure more Michiganders have access to the internet.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday announced that the Peninsula Fiber Network received a $61 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration using funding provided through President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.  

Officials said the telecommunications carrier will use the cash to install 535 miles of new high-speed fiber, specifically through communities with poor or no access to the internet. 

“From St. Joseph to Houghton, we are working to ensure every Michigander has access to quality, affordable high-speed internet,” Whitmer said in a statement. “We will keep working together to expand access to high-speed internet so everyone can make it in Michigan.” 

The project involves building undersea fiber routes between Charlevoix, Beaver Island, and Gulliver in the Upper Peninsula, and between Benton Harbor and Chicago. Land routes will also connect Charlevoix to Grayling, Port Huron to Flint, and Benton Harbor to Grand Rapids. 

The new fiber lines are set to offer lower costs and faster internet speeds, while also improving reliability for existing networks across the state. Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said the grant will ensure that all Michiganders—regardless of where they live—can access high-speed internet.

“With access to affordable, high-speed internet as our tool, we can connect more Michiganders to economic opportunity,” Gilchrist said in a statement. “We will keep working with anyone to connect Michigan families and small businesses and grow our economy.”

All told, Michigan has now received more than $200 million in federal investments geared toward expanding high-speed internet access under the Biden administration. More 23,000 Michigan families have also gained high-speed internet access since Whitmer took office. 

READ MORE: Can’t Afford Faster Internet? Michigan is Launching a New Effort to Help.

For the latest Michigan news, follow The ‘Gander on Twitter.

Follow Political Correspondent Kyle Kaminski here.

Author

  • Kyle Kaminski

    Kyle Kaminski is an award-winning investigative journalist with more than a decade of experience covering news across Michigan. Prior to joining The ‘Gander, Kyle worked as the managing editor at City Pulse in Lansing and as a reporter for the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

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