Watch the 2013 Michigan Broadband Conference LIVE NOW

LANSING—Sen. John Proos today encouraged all of Southwest Michigan to tune in to a live Internet feed of the 2013 Michigan Broadband Conference today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The 2013 Michigan Broadband Conference is being held at the Kellogg Center on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing and hosted by Connect Michigan and the Library of 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.

“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.”

For more information about what Connect Michigan is doing to accelerate technology in Michigan, visit To watch today’s conference go to


Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Sen. Proos WILL BE AVAILABLE LATER on the senator’s webpage at Click on “Podcasts.”

Agenda Highlights:

9 a.m., Keynote Speakers:
• Lt. Governor Brian Calley, State of Michigan
• State Librarian Nancy Robertson, Library of Michigan
• John Summersett, COMLINK

10:15 a.m., Breakout Sessions:
• Community-Enabled Broadband Expansion
• Increasing Technology Adoption and Use Among Small Businesses
• Digital Entrepreneurship
• Gigabit Libraries: It's Amazing What a Community Gains When a Gig Comes to the Local Library
• Rural Utilities Service Program

11:45 a.m., Broadband Hero Awards Presentation

Noon, Keynote speaker, Howard Rheingold

1 p.m., Breakout Sessions:
• Digital Job Creation
• Rural Broadband Expansion Successes
• Creating Community Connections via Broadband:  A Collaboration for Michigan Businesses and Libraries
• Technology for Rural Healthcare
• Understanding the Michigan State Education Network

2:15 p.m., Panel Discussion: Economic Development and Broadband  
• Blair Levin, Fellow, Aspen Institute
• Michael Finney, President and CEO, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
• Dr. Johannes Bauer, Michigan State University
• Steve Webster, CEO, Prima Civitas

3:30 p.m. Closing Session