Michigan to Receive $30 Million Grant for Open Access Fiber Network

Allegan County residents will soon have access to affordable fiber, thanks to a state grant made possible by ARPA.

ALLEGAN COUNTY, MICHIGAN – A state grant to finalize the deployment of a new open access, carrier-neutral fiber network will bring overdue competition and affordable multi-gigabit fiber access to long neglected communities by 2025.

The $30 million award is part of Michigan’s $238 million Realizing Opportunity with Broadband Infrastructure Networks (ROBIN) grant program, made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the resulting Capital Projects Fund.

Allegan County chose 123NET in late 2021 to help spearhead the Allegan County Broadband Project. The public-private partnership will bring access to more than 10,000 Allegan County residents across 1,000 square miles who are either underserved or unserved by regional telecom giants.

123NET and Allegan County had already committed to contributing $17.5 million for the construction of the network, with the county’s share coming from earlier ARPA awards.

 “We are pleased to be selected as a recipient of the Michigan ROBIN Grant Funding. This recognition validates the hard work and dedication that both we and Allegan County have put into this project,” said Dan Irvin, CEO of 123NET. “We look forward to partnering with additional communities throughout Michigan in a combined effort to make this state the best connected on the planet.”

 The initial deployment will involve the stringing of more than 1,100 miles of high-capacity fiber to pass 10,000 premises. Construction is scheduled to begin in August and take roughly two years to complete, according to project officials. The resulting network is expected to deliver speeds upwards of 10 Gbps, with final pricing yet to be determined.


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