This project page provides an overview of broadband efforts throughout the region, including links to county-level efforts and local broadband points of contact for the counties of Lake, Mason, Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana.
While a lack of broadband availability and/or capacity has been a documented issue and a regional priority for many years, individual communities face varying degrees of broadband needs and hurdles. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced this issue to the forefront, highlighting a nearly universal need for increased broadband capabilities. The pandemic has energized local and county level broadband efforts throughout the region.
To help address this issue, WMSRDC has embarked upon an effort to facilitate information sharing, coordination, and project implementation of broadband initiatives across communities and sectors throughout the region. The first step is to connect with local-level focus groups to identify and discuss local broadband issues. The next step will be to aggregate local needs into a regional broadband profile. Subsequent steps will include coordination of infrastructure asset management and seek funding and assistance to meet local broadband needs. WMSRDC is able to undertake this essential task with federal CARES Act funds awarded through the US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration.
Broadband surveys are very important in developing an accurate assessment of broadband availability and related needs. Responses will help develop a better understanding of existing resources and capabilities to support access, adoption and use of broadband technology in homes and businesses. After a structured evaluation of an assessment, appropriate action plans and projects can be developed to improve broadband environment most effectively.
Lake County (Survey closed February 2021)
Points of contact for local broadband efforts within the WMSRDC Region:
Lake County – Larry Lewis firstname.lastname@example.org
Mason County – Monica Schuyler email@example.com
Muskegon County – Name (contact WMSRDC) firstname.lastname@example.org
Newaygo County – Julie Burrell BurrellJ@rightplace.org
Oceana County – Jodi Nichols NicholsJ@rightplace.org