BEAD :$1.6 B
Treasury Capital Projects Fund: $250.6 M
Broadband Office Name:
Michigan High-Speed Internet Office (MIHI)
Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity
Per Executive Directive 2021-2, the Department Labor and Economic Opportunity administers the Michigan High-Speed Internet Office, responsible for broadband coordination statewide. The Michigan Consortium of Advanced Networks created the Michigan Broadband Roadmap in 2018; today this framework is the official state broadband plan. So far, 84% of the state obtains terrestrial broadband coverage at 25 mbps, yet 56% of residents have access to a low-priced broadband plan.
Broadband programs include the Connecting Michigan Taskforce, the WiFi Hotspot Locator, which allows residents to self-report WiFi locations, and the Michigan Infrastructure Council “Dig Once” Project portal which allows public and private ISPs to document future construction dates and locations for new broadband development.
Broadband funding includes the Connecting Michigan Communities Grant Program includes an affordability and service limitation scoring criteria for applicants of 20 points out of 150. Scoring for the projects is based on the capacity of those included within the proposed area of the project to afford and use the service.
Distribution for funding might be a challenge for some residents, as over 45 municipal officials are declining/ not applying for their portion of funding for broadband infrastructure, due to “philosophical opposition” or “frustrations” with spending limits.
As of November, 2022, the Michigan High Speed Internet Office also offers the ROBIN grant program. Below is how the office explains it:
Realizing Opportunity with Broadband Infrastructure Networks (ROBIN) is a last-mile and middle-mile broadband sub-grant program open to internet service providers and public-private partnerships.
ROBIN is funded with $250M from the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund that is administered by the US Treasury.
The program is designed to provide support for building new broadband networks to locations throughout the state that currently do not have broadband available at a speed of at least 100 Megabits per second download and 20 Megabits per second upload, (100/20 Mbps).
MIHI aims to open the ROBIN application window before the end of 2022. View the ROBIN Fact Sheet to learn more.
Michigan ISPs have also landed $363 million through the Federal Communications Commission's Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, $32.6 million through the United States Department of Agriculture's Reconnect Program, and $4.8 million through the FCC's COVID-19 Telehealth Grant Program.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has also awarded Michigan's Merit Network—an independent nonprofit corporation made up of Michigan’s public universities a $10.5 million Broadband Infrastructure Program grant. It is funding a middle mile network.