Commissioners secure grant to explore broadband access across Oakland County

Oakland County Commissioners Philip Weipert (R-South Lyon) and Gwen Markham (D-Novi) have secured a $45,000 grant, with the help of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), to survey Oakland County communities and provide accurate, detailed information of broadband coverage and access. This information will be used in a statewide map and  help ensure Oakland County receives the federal funding necessary to improve broadband access for residents.

“Throughout Oakland County, there are areas where the broadband infrastructure and access simply don’t exist,” Weipert said. “This survey will make sure that our residents benefit from future infrastructure projects and aren’t left behind.”

The survey is part of a larger project spearheaded by Connected Michigan to gather data coverage in rural areas outside of the Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne tri-county region. Because the original survey did not include the tri-county area, Weipert and Markham worked with SEMCOG to apply for federal Planning Assistance Program funding for an Oakland County broadband study.

“This survey and the data it will collect are critical to making broadband infrastructure improvements for our residents,” Markham said. “I am happy we were able to work with SEMCOG to secure funding for this project, and I look forward to increasing access to broadband for those who live in Oakland County.”

Oakland County’s project funding is paired with a $40,000 grant award to Wayne County. The Tri-County Summit Regional Broadband Survey Project will leverage $85,000 in federal planning assistance funding and local matching funds to create a map of broadband coverage in the region.

A final map will include information from around the state and serve as a reference for future federal infrastructure funding. With the county’s broadband survey project, all Oakland County residents will be included.

For more information about the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, visit www.oakgov.com/boc.

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