LANSING, Mich. — The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Tuesday announced 13 winning bidders that were awarded nearly $363 million through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to broadband access to rural communities throughout the state.
Among the winners announced Tuesday are four companies from the 34th Senate District: CCO Holdings, LLC; Mercury Wireless Inc.; Point Broadband Fiber Holding, LLC; and Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium. The four companies received a combined total of $4.3 million to make investments across Muskegon, Oceana and Newaygo counties.
“Reliable internet access is as important as ever as more and more programs and services are going online — especially as more businesses go ‘contactless’ to preserve the safety of their customers during COVID-19,” said state Sen. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “This is a terrific opportunity to make meaningful investments to underserved areas across the state.”
Michigan will receive the federal funding over the next ten years to expand broadband access to nearly 250,000 sites statewide. The funding is being awarded through the FCC Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase 1 auction.
The funding announced Tuesday is in addition to $12.7 million in Connecting Michigan Communities grants through the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget announced in October.
“As jobs, banking, shopping, educational opportunities and other everyday tasks are becoming increasingly mobile, we need to ensure rural communities are not falling between the cracks,” Bumstead said. “This is an issue that has plagued communities in my district and across West Michigan. I am happy to see some major steps being taken toward investing in these communities.”
A full list of awards by county is available here.