Increasing high-speed Internet access to families and job providers

LANSING—Sen. John Proos on Thursday urged Southwest Michigan businesses, families and leaders to utilize a great resource, the Connect Michigan website, for information and availability of broadband Internet access in their communities.

“Southwest Michigan’s geographic diversity is part of what makes our region an excellent place to live, work and raise a family, but it also means many local rural areas struggle with consistent, fast Internet service,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “However, Connect Michigan is working with state and local officials to expand high-speed Internet service to all residents, an effort that will increase access to information and will help stimulate our economy and create new job opportunities in Southwest Michigan.”

As the designated entity for broadband mapping and planning in our state, Connect Michigan is a public-private partnership between the Michigan Public Service Commission and Connected Nation. It works with local governments, businesses and residents to achieve the goal of increasing broadband service in underserved areas.

“Studies show that 90 percent of Americans use the Internet to locate products and services,” said Proos. “We cannot allow locally owned companies to fall behind because they are not able to meet the high-speed needs of online customers.”

For more information about what Connect Michigan is doing to accelerate technology in Michigan, visit

“Whether you’re sharing a photo with grandma, reconnecting with old friends on Facebook or catching up on your emails, dependable Internet access has become critical to our everyday lives,” Proos said. 

On Thursday, Oct. 24, Connect Michigan and the Library of Michigan will host the 2013 Michigan Broadband Conference at the Kellogg Center on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Residents from across the state are invited to contribute to the conversation.

Rural infrastructure, technology used by small businesses, digital job creation and entrepreneurship are some of the topics that will be discussed. Registration for the conference is now open and more information can be found at


Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Sen. Proos are available on the senator’s website at Click on “Podcasts.”