Clare City Manager Ken Hibl announced in his agenda report Monday evening that Clare County will be honored in Harrison November 6 as a “broadband-certified” county, one of only seven in the State.
“Clare City has played a key role in this initiative,” Hibl added.
He said Clare City Treasurer and Director of Information Technology Steven Kingsbury, and Ken Chinavare, director of Technology Regional Information Technology Services at the Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District, will both be featured speakers at the event, which will be held in the south lobby area of the Clare County Courthouse at 10 a.m.
Broadband came to the area in the mid 1990s through a project by the Clare Gladwin Regional Education Service District in collaboration with Mid Michigan Community College. The Clare County Enterprise Community also began working on technology infrastructure and in late 2008; the Clare County Broadband initiative was first conceived.
In 2009 the CCEC provided funds to expand the focus and develop wireless for those without cable access. Phase I connected the Cities of Clare, Harrison, Farwell, County offices, Sheriff’s Department, Village of Farwell Surrey Township and the three community libraries. Phase II involved a partnership with ISP Management, a wireless Internet Service Provider based in Alma, to develop the county-wide wireless service. Towers in Sheridan, Arthur, Hamilton, Freeman and Franklin Townships, were erected covering the eastern side of Clare County.
At a City meeting last year, Kingsbury said Merit Communication would receive $100,000 through a Governor’s initiative to be used throughout the state to upgrade technology and provide high speed access.
Through the installation of towers throughout the county, much of this area is now “connected.” “It took seven years,” Kingsbury said.
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