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Federal grand aims to improve Internet access in Michigan Rural Communities

Tmthetom via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0

A ten-and-a-half million-dollar grant from the federal government is aiming to improve internet access for some of Michigan’s rural communities.

Michigan State University and Ann Arbor-based nonprofit Merit Network received the multi-million-dollar grant. The money will go towards enhancing broadband internet access in underserved areas.

Pierrette Dagg is a spokesperson for Merit. She says their plan is to increase connection by using an open access network approach instead of a closed infrastructure environment. In the latter, individual internet service providers use their own lines to provide access.

“Whereas an open access network model, there was one, one place to connect to, so there'd be like one road and then multiple internet service providers can use that same existing infrastructure.”

Dagg says the funds will help improve internet access for nearly 60% of households in the state.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community. Michelle is also the voice of WKAR's weekend news programs.
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