ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — Allegan County has selected a vendor as it works to improve broadband internet for thousands of households. of Southfield, near Detroit, was awarded a $17.7 million contract with the county, it announced Thursday. The county cited the company’s “reasonable monthly rates” and “open access network” as the reasons it was picked from among 11 finalists.

Allegan County decided to use a large chunk of its federal coronavirus relief money to lay down infrastructure to expand broadband access to about 12,000 addresses that currently have slow download speeds. is matching the $17.7 million from the county. That, plus additional state and federal funding, will pay for the $70 million project.

Once all the money is lined up, the project should be done in between 18 months and two years.