GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Four West Michigan counties are receiving a share of federal dollars to get broadband internet to rural homes and businesses.
The Federal Communications Commission announced the project Thursday, saying that over the next 10 years, $63 million will go toward reaching 10,002 rural spots in 16 Michigan counties.
The CEO of the Barry County Service Company told News 8 that the money doesn’t constitute new dollars. He said that instead, it’s a replacement based on a new funding model. He added it will allow his company to be more consistent.
“With this, our momentum in deploying … broadband services will continue,” he said.
All of the money for West Michigan is being sent to the Barry County Service Company to expand service in four counties:
- Allegan County: $125,112 for 19 locations;
- Barry County: $12,027,108 for 3,757 locations;
- Calhoun County: $98,331 for 28 locations;
- Kalamazoo County: $23,710 for two locations.
Nationwide, $4.9 billion is going to smaller broadband carriers so they can reach areas have few customers and are therefore expensive to serve. Those carriers are going to have to meet benchmarks for expansion, the first of which is in 2022.
Here’s how the money for Michigan is being divided up among other counties:
- Alcona: $3,630,459 (174 locations)
- Alpena: $1,707,108 (88)
- Baraga: $20,238,732 (2,096)
- Houghton: $6,012,146 (794)
- Lake: $99,408 (13)
- Manistee: $13,114,156 (2,168)
- Montmorency: $161,712 (7)
- Ontonagon: $89,308 (5)
- Oscoda: $840,000 (35)
- Saginaw: $3,423,124 (628)
- Shiawassee: $1,196,109 (186)
- Wexford: $24,000 (1)