Grant program seeks to expand broadband in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The state of Michigan wants to increase broadband in rural areas.

The Connecting Michigan Communities grant program is offering $20 million to internet service providers willing to expand access to unserved parts of the state. Providers can apply for up to $5 million per grant and can apply for multiple projects.

Applications close Aug. 30. Awards tentatively are scheduled to be announced next April in time for the summer 2020 construction season. All projects must be completed by Sept. 30, 2023.

The state says priority will be given to applications demonstrating collaboration to achieve community investment and economic development goals in the areas impacted.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says "connecting all Michigan communities with broadband service is about leveling the playing field for every child and small business in the state."