Mt. Clemens, MI - Macomb County officials, alongside officials in Oakland and Wayne counties, are asking residents and businesses to take a 15-question survey about internet service at their households.
The survey asks whether high-speed ("broadband") internet service is available at a given address, and at what speed. The goal is to gain a clearer picture of connectivity in the tri-county area and support planning and possible broadband expansion efforts.
"Internet connectivity at home is an essential service no matter your demographic or where you choose to live,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “From applying for jobs, to accessing social services, and even working from home, you need a strong broadband connection to really function in this day and age. So I am pleased to see this collaboration, with all three counties working to ensure no one in the metro area is left behind. Together we can make our region even stronger."
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for broadband has become more evident, with residents working remotely, students attending school online and patients meeting doctors virtually. County Commissioners from the three counties convened in 2022 to consider how to address resident frustration over internet connectivity. In some areas, high-speed internet is unreliable, unaffordable or simply not available.
"This broadband initiative is a priority for our tri-county leaders and demonstrates how our region can work together to resolve similar issues,” said Don Brown, board chair, Macomb County Board of Commissioners.
Home internet connectivity prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was viewed by many as a luxury. Now it is a necessity, like electricity and clean water. The Tri-County Summit recognized this and has committed to surveying residents and businesses to identify gaps in internet service. To accomplish this, the three counties have partnered with Merit Network to develop a survey and promotional materials aimed at reaching all properties in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties.
“When we look at all the major transformations that are happening in the tech revolution, it is so important that we get this infrastructure in play,” said Vicky Rowinski, director, Macomb County Planning and Economic Development.
Merit Network, a Michigan-based nonprofit, is conducting the service as part of its Michigan Moonshot initiative.
Visit MichiganMoonshot.org/Tri-County-Broadband to complete the brief survey. Paper surveys are available upon request by calling (313) 625-0029.
About the Michigan Moonshot: The Michigan Moonshot is a collective call to action which aims to bridge the digital divide in Michigan. Stakeholders include Merit Network, the nation’s longest-running research and education network, the Quello Center at Michigan State University, and M-Lab, the largest open internet measurement platform in the world. Learn more about the Michigan Moonshot at Merit.edu/Moonshot.
About Macomb County Planning and Economic Development
The Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development supports an environment where businesses prosper and people thrive. Its activities and programs are focused on stimulating the local economy through business retention, expansion and attraction while improving the overall quality of life for residents. The department specializes in providing services to businesses at all stages of development with a concentration on the high-growth industries of aerospace, alternative energy, advanced manufacturing, defense and homeland security. For more information, call 586-469-5285 or visit: https://ped.macombgov.org/Ped-Home.