Michigan's Broadband Divide

Jun 30, 2011

There’s a bit of a disconnect for many Michiganders when it comes to logging onto  the internet.   A new survey shows 82% of Michiganders have a home computer.   But access to a broadband connection to the internet is another matter.

Brian Mefford is the CEO of Connected Nation.   He says the survey shows only about 67% of Michiganders use a broadband connection to connect to the internet. 

“Though broadband is available to most of Michigan…there’s nearly 30 percent of the state that’s not subscribing to the technology…that’s one of the key points…how do we migrate those people to using technology.”

Mefford says the digital divide is particularly acute in rural Michigan, where lower home density rates makes it a more difficult business model. 

State officials say Michigan is making progress in expanding broadband access.   Orjiakor Isiogu is the chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission.  

“Michigan is making steady progress in identifying ways to expand broadband availability and adoption...The report issued today pinpoints the areas where broadband does not yet exist, and it helps us better understand the barriers that have prevented people from adopting broadband where it is available.”

The survey found most Michiganders without a home computer or a broadband hookup say they don’t understand why would they need one.