State Rep. Beth Griffin, of Mattawan, this week voted to advance a plan that would expand effective broadband services to more residents in rural Michigan.
House Bill 4266 codifies legal protections for Michigan electric cooperatives to build and expand broadband networks on existing infrastructure and within existing easements. This would make it easier for co-ops in Southwest Michigan, including Midwest Electric, to better reach unserved areas.
“This is a creative way to expand broadband coverage to unserved areas in my district,” said Griffin, who served as vice-chair of the House Communications and Technology Committee during the 2017-18 legislative term. “These services are needed in today’s technological age. Broadband allows rural Michigan to be competitive, attract businesses and experience growth. It also allows our children to learn with tools like high-speed internet and gives people the opportunity to do business from the home.”
HB 4266 and corresponding legislation dealing with pole attachments are currently under consideration on the House floor after being approved unanimously in the House Communications and Technology Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. Griffin was nominated to serve on House Ways and Means Committee for the 2019-20 legislative term.