Soon, more Michigan residents will have access to faster internet speeds. Last week, the Michigan High-Speed Internet Office revealed recommendations for the Realizing Opportunity with Broadband Infrastructure Networks (ROBIN) Grant Program.
The ROBIN program sets the stage for over 100,000 Michigan homes to get a minimum speed of 100/100 Mbps by providing $238 million in funds to service carriers and both public and private partnerships to expand connections to unserved areas. Michigan wants to ensure that all homes, businesses, institutions, and all community services have access to high-speed internet.
Around 31 percent of Michigan homes don’t have access to reliable high-speed internet connections. The ROBIN program was created with the goal to provide permanent home internet to 95 percent of Michigan households.
“The ROBIN Grant Program will provide much-needed funding support for the development and expansion of broadband infrastructure to underserved Michigan communities,” said Susan Corbin, director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) as reported by 9 & 10 News. “These grant dollars will help make internet more affordable for thousands of Michiganders, allowing them greater access to critical resources such as remote education, telemedicine, and online networking and job searching tools.”
Applications opened earlier this year and out of 154 applicants 11 were selected, totaling twenty-four projects. The ROBIN Initial Grant Recommendations (IGRs) include $575.3 million in total project investment and so far $265.3 million has been requested for grant money funded by the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund. Private matching funds are contributing $310 million to projects approved through the grant program.
Before final approval this fall, a 45-day comment and objection period will commence through August 4th. The final decision for project awards will be announced sometime in August.
For a full list of applicants and projects, visit Michigan’s Realizing Opportunity with Broadband Infrastructure Networks Grant Program website.