Several Northern Michigan Counties Poised for Broadband Expansion

Expanded broadband access is on the way for several northern Michigan counties in desperate need of the service.

Casair in Stanton will get $27 million over the next 10 years to expand broadband service in the areas they serve.

Expansions will happen in Lake, Osceola, Missaukee and Wexford Counties.

For Toy Town owner Thaddaeus Gommesen, having high speed internet is essential.

He says as Cadillac grows. the amount of people with access to broadband needs to grow too.

“If we open another store, or eventually have a warehouse then that’s definitely something you’re going to need good internet, good high speed,” said Gommesen.

That’s why news of Casair’s planned service expansion is such welcome news.

Especially in Missaukee County where the Lake City Area Chamber of Commerce says access to broadband is one of the issues they hear about the most.

“It’s hard for our rural folks in the area to have access to high speed internet. There’s so many things that come with that. Improving education, access. You think from everyone from our youngest all the way up to our oldest could really benefit from having the ability to have high speed internet,” said Executive Director Heather Jensen.

The chamber says expanded broadband access would stand to benefit everyone in the area, greatly.

“We have a lot of rural families outside of the city limits. Personally I can speak from that, I don’t have internet where I live, or the ability to get that. From my standpoint it just make me better on every level as far as access to information, opportunity, resources. It would be huge for our businesses, especially in the rural area. A lot of our businesses are not in the city limits,” said Jensen.

Some of the broadband expansion work is expected to be completed within two years.