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Ottawa County broadband project moves into next phase

Tmthetom via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0

Ottawa County and 123NET received final grant approvals from the State to move into the next phase of its broadband expansion project.

“We have been working on increasing broadband access for at least 15 years.”

Director of Strategic Impact Paul Sachs says that access includes high-speed internet and increased cell phone coverage to the more rural areas of Ottawa County like West Olive and Borculo.

“The grants were significantly important for us to accelerate the timeline to get this work done.”

Those grants are helping to fund 250 miles of fiber for 6,000 residents at a total cost of $16.2 million. Additional funding comes from Ottawa County itself, 123NET and the state of Michigan.

Sachs says it’s a worthwhile investment.

“Just because you live in a rural area doesn’t mean that you should lack the essential utilities that are required in today’s day and age.”

Everything from business and education to health care and streaming, Sachs says the goal of accessible high-speed internet will lead to a better quality of life for all county residents.

“And that is why we have to get involved in a very smart, pragmatic manner to make sure this infrastructure exists for everybody.”

Shovels are expected to be in the ground by fall of this year. This current phase of the project is expected to last until the end of 2026.

You can find more info on the project here.

Dave joined WGVU Public Media in November of 2023 after eighteen years as a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Emmy-nominated photojournalist and editor at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WEYI TV25 in Flint, Michigan. As a General Assignment Reporter, Dave covers daily news and community events all over West Michigan.
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