EUPConnect Broadband Infrastructure Survey is now live!

EUPConnect Collaborative Rural Access

The EUPConnect Collaborative Initiative is working to ensure broadband access for rural areas throughout the Eastern Upper Peninsula (EUP). We're asking for your help to make this possible.

Over the past few weeks, every household in the 3 counties was sent 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.

Help us and help your community by taking our EUPConnect Broadband Infrastructure Survey.


Help us ensure that we know exactly where we need investment to improve our access to every household and business throughout Chippewa, Mackinac and Luce Counties!



EUPConnect Collaborative Overview

  • Working collectively, instead of independently, the EUPConnect Collaborative is working as a facilitator to ensure that all households in the EUP have access to broadband infrastructure which will support 1Gbps connectivity to the internet.

    Our Vision and Mission:

    • 1 Gbps minimum fixed broadband service to the premises of every e911 service address in the tri-county area, including all islands with electrical service by 2025,
    • 25/3 Mbps minimum mobile broadband coverage of all geographic square miles in the tri-county area, including all islands, by 2025.

     

    Our Purpose:

    To facilitate the creation of a twenty-first century broadband infrastructure throughout the EUP which will provide cyber security protection for all residents, businesses, utility companies, governmental units and institutions at a competitive pricing structure by 2025.

     

    Strategic Initiatives:

    • Pool resources from existing and emerging funding sources to facilitate the applications for broadband infrastructure and equity funding opportunities.
    • Develop public-private partnerships for infrastructure deployment
    • Technical assistance for local and regional master plans with current and future regional infrastructure investment opportunities
    • Remove barriers to residential broadband adoption in coordination with infrastructure investments
    • Continually collect and share data to measure progress toward objectives and development of master plans
    • Work with philanthropic organizations, community service groups etc., to support local funding efforts
    • Establish educational programs to ensure high quality services for our communities

     

Community of Partnerships

  • Access to reliable and affordable internet is a prerequisite for sustainable economic growth in the Eastern Upper Peninsula (EUP). Delivering healthcare and education services effectively requires high speed internet. Banks, businesses, entrepreneurs, and local units of government require consistent, secure access to high-speed internet to reach customers. Unfortunately, service across the EUP is often unavailable, unreliable, or inadequate. This was made even more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of this reality is far-reaching. Equitable access throughout our communities is imperative.

    This does not need to be our accepted norm any longer. There are exciting new opportunities in expansion and upgrades of services. Recent investments by our private sector partners in our communities have improved service. The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) is injecting $37 million into the EUP. Local communities and schools are receiving an influx of stimulus relief. The list of opportunities goes on.

    How do we help? We start by building the community of partnerships that will share the burden to resolve inequitable access to connectivity in 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.

    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.

    Background

    For several years, the EUP Intermediate School District has been working on a cost effective broadband service for the three eastern-most counties of the UP. This goal was an out-growth of the services the EUP had been providing, since the 1990’s of internet services to area educational institutions. The holdup until now has been funding.

    With the passing of the Infrastructure Bill in early 2021, the funding is now possible. Every municipality, educational institution, and Tribe has been allocated funds to implement broadband.

Current Collaborative Members

  • Bay Mills Township
    Bay Mills Community College
    Bois Blanc Pines School
    Brevort Township
    Brimley Area Schools
    Chippewa Township
    City of Mackinac Island
    City of St. Ignace
    Clark Township
    DeTour Area Schools
    DeTour Arts & Technology Academy
    DeTour Township
    DeTour Village
    Drummond Township

    Engadine Consolidated Schools
    Garfield Township
    Hendricks Township
    Hudson Township
    JKL Bahweting School
    Kinross Charter Township
    Lake Superior Academy
    Lake Superior State University
    Les Cheneaux Community Schools
    Mackinac Island Public Schools
    Marquette Township
    McMillan Township
    Moran Township
    Moran Township Schools

    Newton Township
    Ojibwe Charter School
    Pickford Public Schools
    Pickford Township
    Raber Township
    Rudyard Area Schools
    Sault Ste. Marie Area Schools
    St. Ignace Area Schools
    St. Ignace Township
    Sugar Island Township
    Tahquamenon Area Schools
    Three Lakes Academy
    Whitefish Township

  • EUPConnect Broadband Infrastructure Survey Launched

    Posted by Jason Kronemeyer on 7/8/2022 4:00:00 PM

    PRESS RELEASE

    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 atwww.eupconnect.org or call the project support number at: 906-259-8300.

    Comments (-1)
  • EUPCC Consortium Agreement - Version June 2022

    Posted by Angie McArthur on 1/28/2022

    The purpose of this Agreement is to establish an organization through which the signatories may jointly and cooperatively construct, own, operate and maintain the educational telecommunications system and provide services primarily in furtherance of the educational mission, economic development and health services.

    EUPCC Consortium Agreement

     

    Comments (-1)
  • EUPConnect Collaborative Launch: Informational Meeting

    Posted 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.

    This meeting was recorded and is available to you.

    Join the Conversation

    Stay informed! Send us your name and email address on our Join the Conversation form. 

    Comments (-1)
  • Call to Action: Building a Network of Communities

    Posted by Jason Kronemeyer on 4/1/2021

    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 farther behind the rest of the world. We cannot wait for the commercial providers to go the last mile any longer, there simply is no profit for their business and it is a losing endeavor for them to do it on their own.

    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.

     

    Comments (-1)

Community Support

  • Center for Change: a Northern MI Advocacy Group
  • Friends of Les Cheneaux Community Library
  • HSC Foundation
  • Les Cheneaux Community Foundation