Michigan House Republicans
Bridging the Digital Divide: ROBIN grant brings hope to our community
RELEASE|August 25, 2023

By: State Rep. Pauline Wendzel

Access to the internet has become an essential lifeline in today’s world, enabling education, communication, and economic opportunities like never before. Unfortunately, millions of households across the country remain disconnected due to limited infrastructure and financial constraints, but in Southwest Michigan, good news is finally here. In 2022, the Legislature passed Public Act 52, which established the ROBIN grant program.  Part of this competitive grant has been awarded to Midwest Energy and Communications and 123.net.  More than 29,000 homes that didn’t have access to the internet soon will.

Thanks to the ROBIN grant, service providers will embark on a transformative journey to bring high-speed internet access to thousands of local households. The impact of this initiative goes beyond connecting residents, it will foster educational opportunities, promote economic growth, and enhance overall quality of life.  

For far too long, students in our communities have faced challenges accessing online learning materials, leaving them at a disadvantage compared to their more connected peers. With the arrival of high-speed internet, they will have equal footing, unlocking a world of knowledge and skills that will prepare them for a brighter future.

This newfound connectivity will also support local businesses and farmers, opening up doors to a wider customer base and new markets. Job creators will have the tools they need to innovate, grow, and create new opportunities within our communities. Small towns like ours that once struggled to keep up with the rapid pace of digital advancement, will now have the chance to embrace the global economy on equal footing. 

As we look toward the future, it is essential we continue to invest in initiatives like this grant program.  Every individual should have the opportunity to participate fully in the digital revolution. I will not stop fighting until Southwest Michigan has full access to the internet and our residents can make cell phone calls without them dropping. 

As always, I appreciate hearing from you. If you have any questions, please reach out to me at (517) 373-1799 or at [email protected]

More information about the project can be found here.

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