Call to Action: Building a Network of CommunitiesPosted by Jason Kronemeyer on 2/3/2023
It is time to build a community of partners which not only provides critical connectivity to our schools but our community anchors as well. Connectivity to the world is becoming more critical every day and the rural geography in which we live continues to fall farther behind the global economy. We need to build on the work that was done 25-30 years ago which resulted in the Eastern Upper Peninsula Telecommunications Consortium (EUPTC). The EUPTC was the farmer that planted the seeds that have grown into one of the longest running regional networks in the nation as well as sprouting all technical services operated by the EUPTC. We used to refer to this network as the Interactive Television (ITV) system which was originally used only for distance learning until data networking was added in 1997.
Schools are not the only critical anchors in the community, they are anchors for our regional network which spans Chippewa, Luce and Mackinac counties. The network capacity for education will continue to require exponential growth going into the future. Other anchors in our communities such as healthcare, libraries, counties, municipalities, cooperatives, homes, businesses, service providers and visitors will also require exponential growth in network capacity. The “last mile” is still the piece that is not keeping up and every day we fall further behind the rest of the world. We cannot expect the commercial providers to go the last mile, there simply is no profit for their business and it is a losing endeavor for them to do it on their own. They need our help!
How do we help? We start by building the community that will share the burden to get this done for our region. Not for profit organizations need to take the lead and create the right organizational structure to facilitate everyone, public and private working together to build the community network which will ultimately become the next network for our schools going forward and go the last mile. Our students need to be connected where they live so our region may prosper.
The on-going question is: “How do we pay for it?” This is where the public anchors come in. WE all have access to funding mechanisms which, when looked at individually seem like this is an impossible task but collectively is enough to create a realistic business plan that will help keep us from being left behind from the global economy. The right formula is a public-private partnership where every organization brings their expertise to the project and finally overcomes this challenge for our communities.
EUPConnect Broadband Infrastructure Survey LaunchedPosted by Jason Kronemeyer on 7/8/2022 4:00:00 PM
July 8, 2022
EUPConnect Broadband Infrastructure Survey Launched
Chippewa, Mackinac and Luce Counties, Michigan.
The EUPConnect Collaborative (EUPCC) is leading the way in regional collaboration to ensure broadband access for our rural communities throughout the Eastern Upper Peninsula (EUP). To identify the gaps in the infrastructure, EUPCC is launching the EUPConnect Broadband Infrastructure Survey. The survey, created in partnership by Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning and Development Commission (EUPRPDC), Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District (EUPISD), and the Merit Network, Michigan Moonshot Initiative is for the purpose of identifying the gaps in broadband infrastructure throughout Chippewa, Mackinac, and Luce Counties.
Over the next few weeks, every household in the 3 counties will receive a postcard with instructions on how to participate in the survey. The survey may be completed digitally on the web or a paper survey available by request for those who might not have access. The survey will take about 5-minutes to complete with one response requested for every household, business, vacation, or recreational property with a 911 service address. The results of this short survey will be used to facilitate public-private partnerships which will seek funding from state and federal sources for broadband infrastructure deployment in the region.
The survey will run for 8 weeks with the analysis and full reports completed by mid-October. The information gathered will be used to inform local infrastructure planning development processes to support applications for current and upcoming funding opportunities for broadband infrastructure expansion to every 911 service address. Most importantly, any personal information gathered will only be used to plan for broadband infrastructure expansion, it will not be sold or shared.
To ensure service to everyone, we need to understand where households are not connected because the infrastructure does not exist as well as why households are not connected where the infrastructure does exist. Broad participation in the survey is critical to the success of this effort. Each community member will help plan for a digital, prosperous, and connected future. To support the region-wide effort, when the postcard arrives in your mailbox, participate in the survey and encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same.
Join EUPConnect on “the mission to 911” to ensure you and your neighbors are fully connected to affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband service.
To learn more about the EUPConnect Collaborative, visit the project on the web at: www.eupconnect.org or call the project support number at: 906-259-8300.
EUPConnect Collaborative Launch: Informational MeetingPosted by Jason Kronemeyer on 4/30/2021 10:15:00 AM
Now is the time for action! There is urgent need to leverage the collective investment of all our partners to connect education, healthcare, communities, and industry.
A great many of us met for an informational meeting Friday, April 30, 2021 at 10 a.m. to explore the potential impact that these new opportunities might hold for our communities.
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